The 26-unit apartment complex, located just behind Breckenridge Stor-N-Go, is the first split partnership of its kind between the two municipalities in the countywide struggle to keep up with home demands for local employees. The rentals will require that tenants work a minimum of 30 hours per week within the county, as well as meet a number of other income and application parameters to qualify to live there.
Town and county officials are still hammering out a handful of those precise stipulations based on staff recommendations, but with full completion of the projected planned for June 30 — almost exactly a year to the day from groundbreaking — and a housing lottery on the first of that month, those details should soon be finalized. What is already settled, though, is that half of units will be dedicated to those who work in the Upper Blue Basin, as defined as Farmer’s Corner to Hoosier Pass, and the other half from throughout the county also including the Upper Blue area.
The 1.7-acre property is broken into two sections, one building slightly further up the hill and one closer to State Highway 9, with 52 on-site parking spaces. The east building includes 15 two-bedroom, one-bath units, while the west building has 11 two-bedroom, two-bath units.
The county and town will maintain two apartments each — four total units — for transitional employee housing while more permanent situations are found for individuals accepting a job with either government. That leaves 14 one-bath and eight two-bath — 22 total — residences available for rent.
Preliminary suggestions put monthly rent at $1,550 for the one-bath units, and $1,700 for those with two bathrooms. According to current metrics, that makes the apartments affordable for households with an annual income of $62,000 and $68,000, respectively, positioning them at 95- and 102-percent area median income (AMI) for homes occupied by two people. That pricing includes utilities, including gas and electric, trash service and snow removal, which is estimated at a value of about $150 a month depending on usage. Tenants would need to purchase their own internet or cable television.
“We feel we’re right in the appropriate rental range to fill up the building, and keep it highly functional,” Nicole Bleriot, county housing director, told the Board of County Commissioners at a Tuesday morning meeting.
The county and town will hash out those rental rates for the one-year leases in the coming months, and at least an additional month’s rent would be expected up front as a security deposit. Final pricing and the application process, including a fee and credit check, will be released in early April. Applications will then be accepted between mid April and mid May before the June lottery, and the two buildings filled by August. Those accepted into Huron Landing will need to prove monthly income of 2 ½ times the cost of rent.
Each apartment comes with a 4-by-3 personal storage unit for gear, and all are slated to for a single parking space, with the opportunity to rent a second from a supply of 20 for $40 per month on a first-come, first-serve basis. That leaves six spaces for guests, where a resident would acquire a temporarily pass from the Corum Real Estate Group, which will handle property management services.
A maximum of two pets will be allowed per unit at the complex, at a cost of $25 each month on top of a nonrefundable deposit. Residents will also be required to carry rental insurance, estimated at an annual rate of about $120, and no guns or smoking of any kind will be permitted. Subletting will not be allowed, and decks are expected to only provide for gas grills, patio furniture and possible some minimal recreation equipment like a single bicycle.
The two municipalities are still forming the renewal framework for rent increases, in addition to income and/or annual AMI caps. The thought is, should tenants shift to a total household income above a set ceiling — whatever it ends up being — during their year in the unit, their lease would not be renewed for the next term. It is possible renewal limits could be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the number of occupants in each unit, and whether or not they are related.
“What is appropriate in terms of a limitation should probably vary upon what kind of a household makeup you have in the unit,” said County Commissioner Thomas Davidson. “If you have four unrelated people, each with their own separate income, that’s one thing. If you’ve got a family in there, then that’s something else.”
The town and county will be in discussions on these restrictions leading up to the late-June completion of the complex. Those conversations will help establish rates and expectations for any future collaborative housing ventures.