The applications have been turned in and combed over. Minute details were ironed out, and the list of the approved Longwill 16 and Silver Jack housing applicants compiled. The Town of Telluride’s latest affordable housing drawing will be held Sept. 12 at Rebekah, as 93 hopefuls are in the running for the 26 workforce units, according to a San Miguel Regional Housing Authority (SMRHA) news release. The full list of qualified and unqualified applicants was made public Wednesday afternoon on the SMRHA’s website and at its office in Shandoka; 99 households applied. Those who were deemed unqualified had 24 hours to appeal, according to SMRHA Interim Director Melanie Wasserman. As of Thursday morning, her office only received one appeal. The Telluride Housing Authority Subcommittee is scheduled to meet today (Friday) from 1-3 p.m. at Rebekah Hall to review any remaining exceptions of appeals.
Wasserman and SMRHA staff handled the heavy lifting over the past several months. She explained some applications could take several hours to review.
“A lot of work goes into verifying income to determine tier level. Also, the number of hours worked is thoroughly reviewed because demonstrating at least 1,400 hours is a primary requirement to qualify,” she said. “Everything that is asked for as part of the application in some way verifies an applicant’s qualifications and any extra points they may earn toward an additional entries (such as being a THS graduate, military service, number of years working in the community, etc).
“The time it takes to review each application varies. Applications that include numerous jobs or self-employment can take the longest. Sometimes up to several hours per application.”
In addition to all the paperwork, SMRHA hosted 11 site walks, three community informational meetings and held five exception hearings for applicants whose applications required special considerations, according to the news release. Additional site walks will be held next week; the dates have yet to be determined. Applicants must submit a unit preference form by 11:59 a.m. Sept. 12. Changes cannot be made to forms already submitted. The winners will sign deed contracts Sept. 20, as both projects are expected to be completed by mid-November.
“The community response has been overwhelmingly positive, as we are all excited to see members of our community find stable, affordable homes,” Wasserman said.
Silver Jack, formerly known as the SMPA Lot, at the corner of Fir Street and Pacific Avenue will feature 10 deed-restricted units, as well as Ah Haa School for the Arts’ new space and a 70-space underground parking garage.
Judy Kohin, the Ah Haa School’s executive director, previously told the Daily Planet that she’s looking forward to moving into the new space, since the school has “outgrown” its current headquarters at the former train depot on 300 South Townsend St.
Kohin also explained the new spot will feature an additional 3,000 square feet of studio space and a street-front gallery on the building’s first floor, as well as other amenities. The expanded space will allow the school to offer more programs, she added.
“It’s going to be an amazing facility for the Ah Haa School,” Kohin said.
The name — which, along with Longwill 16, was announced at the end of July — pays homage to the area’s mining legacy and was the moniker for former Telluride mayor John Micetic’s 1970s-era restaurant, The Silverjack.
Longwill 16, which was previously dubbed Lot B and will feature 16 units, honors a former dairy farmer, who called the business he once operated on the abutting Pearl property the 16-1 Dairy, Geneva Shaunette, Telluride Town Council and housing authority subcommittee member, explained in a previous interview with the Daily Planet.
The full list of qualified and unqualified applicanrs, as well as additional information about the new deed-restricted units, can be found on SMRHA website at smrha.org.