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Lafayette, Boulder County buy land from church for future affordable housing development

Posted: 10:55 AM, Jun 07, 2017
Updated: 2017-06-07 12:55:36-04
Lafayette, Boulder County buy land from church for future affordable housing development

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – The City of Lafayette and Boulder County are teaming up to buy a 24-acre parcel of land on which they hope to build hundreds of affordable homes.

The Daily Camera reports the Lafayette City Council approved the purchase of the land at its meeting Tuesday night.

The city and county are buying the property, near the intersection of 120th Street and Emma streets, from Flatirons Community Church for $3,495,150. The city is using funds from its affordable housing development fee, just enacted last year, which charges $.30 per square foot on all new residential developments.

Plans for the property include as many as 500 homes that would be considered “permanently affordable.” Homes would be priced at or below 30 percent of qualified households’ income.

Officials say the development will be a big help to an area that has seen steadily rising home prices in recent years. Between 2011 and 2016, the median cost of a 2-bedroom rental rose 42 percent and the median home value rose 64 percent.

“When people spend too much on housing, they have to cut back on other important things in their lives – healthy food, medical care, reliable transportation, and more, and this can quickly become a spiral into instability, stress, and hardship,” said Mayor Christine Berg. “Our vision for Lafayette is of a town that embraces its workforce and helps people remain in the community they love, and this collaboration reflects that.”

Officials say the development and two others in the works will add enough affordable housing in Lafayette that about 20 percent of homes in the city will be “affordable” or “attainable.”