Tungsten Village: Nederland’s New Neighborhood of Affordable Workforce Housing
In our quest to help address the increasing lack of housing affordability across the county, the Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA) purchased a .85-acre lot near downtown Nederland. The currently-vacant land is located on Third Street next to the town’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) parking lot and is near many area services, making it ideal for the placement of 26 high-quality, permanently-below-market-rate rental homes for the area’s workforce, seniors, and others. BCHA presented our initial proposal for this housing at two community meetings in March 2017. We updated our proposal to reflect some of the community feedback we received at that time as well as additional feedback and guidance from town staff.
Update: April 2019
We applied for and received tax credits through the state of Colorado to help finance construction of the new Tungsten Village homes. This is great news! This means we plan to begin construction this year, with move-ins possible as early as mid-2020, depending on our progress.
We also collaborated with the Nederland community to name the new neighborhood. In all, 25 ideas were submitted by Nederland-area residents, and 70 respondents voted. The winner, submitted by Nederland residents Naomi Harris and Tamara Whinston, was “Tungsten Village”, representing the history and importance of the mining of this metal in the area, and the resulting contributions to the growth of the town itself. Our thanks and congratulations to everyone who submitted their ideas and to all who participated!
Now we are in the process of working to close on our construction and permanent loan financing for Tungsten Village. The construction closing process includes bidding to area subcontractors, finalizing the engineering and architectural design, selecting interior finishes, and completing the building permits review process. After the construction loan closing, we will begin setting rent levels for the 26 new homes, all of which will comply with the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.
The maximum rent levels, set by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), are generally calculated using county-wide Area Median Income (AMI) and area market-rate rents. Tungsten Village homes will be available for families or individuals earning up to 60 percent AMI. As examples for 2018, 30 percent AMI for a family of three was $29,340 a year and 60 percent AMI was $58,680 (families and individuals earning well below 30 percent AMI can also be eligible). HUD’s 2019 income and rent limits will be set soon, and BCHA will apply these HUD-established LIHTC rent levels for Tungsten Village homes.
Anyone interested in a Tungsten Village home can sign up for the “Interest List” by clicking this link or contacting Nichol Mattson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-441-1296. If you already signed up for this list, no need to do so again. However, if you know others who might be interested in these homes and who may qualify for them, please pass this message along to them. Remember that signing up for the interest list is not the same as filling out an application to live in one of the homes. The application process will take place later this year. We will update you when we know when this will occur.
In the meantime, we encourage you to stay in touch with community organizations in your area, particularly those engaged in the Peak to Peak Housing and Human Services Alliance (here’s the website). These organizations are supporting Tungsten Village and –importantly- may be able to help you determine whether you could qualify to live in these homes.
We’ll be in touch through the email interest and information lists and on this page when we have additional information.
The Name it, Ned! Community Contest
The Boulder County Housing Authority in 2018 announced the winning submission and community contributors for the “Name it, Ned!” contest. A total of 70 respondents voted on six different options, and the clear winner was Tungsten Village! This submission received more than twice as many top votes than the second runner-up. Semi-finalist submissions considered for the final round of voting were submitted by:
- Katie Sylvest
- Naomi Harris
- Kristen Conrad
- Carol Helwig
- Janice Gauger
- Jason Walp
- Tamara Whinston
Both Naomi Harris and Tamara Whinston submitted suggestions that included “Tungsten”, so both will receive the grand prize for naming the new neighborhood in Ned: a big basket of gift cards from Nederland area businesses! Thank you to all of the Nederland residents and community partners who submitted naming ideas, helped spread the word about the contest, and took part in the voting. Semi-finalists will also receive gift cards.
Why Tungsten Village?
Both Naomi and Tamara cited Nederland’s history of tungsten mining as a source of inspiration for their submission. According to the town history, Sam Conger, who had discovered the Caribou silver mine, found tungsten in areas to the north and east of Nederland, and he knew its value in making steel. The old silver mill in Nederland was converted to process tungsten. By 1916, Nederland had a population of nearly 3,000, about twice its present number. The discovery of tungsten inspired a renaissance of mining in Nederland, becoming synonymous with new beginnings and revitalization of the mountain town.
As Tamara said in her submission, “Taking the rich history of mining Tungsten in the Nederland area and putting it together with the saying “it takes a village” is so fitting for our close knit community. I feel that “Tungsten Village” would be a lasting name for our new neighborhood!”
More about Tungsten Village:
A final Planned Unit Development (PUD) application was submitted to the Town of Nederland. The Nederland Planning Commission approved the proposal by a 4-to-1 vote at their February 28, 2018 meeting, and the Nederland Town Board approved the plan on March 20th. We are deeply grateful to town leaders and staff for your support, as well as community partners and other supporters who shared your thoughts about the need for this housing. We understand some neighbors in the area surrounding the housing site have concerns about potential impacts of some aspects of the development on them. We remain committed to listening to these concerns and addressing them to the best of our ability while also meeting our mission and goal of increasing access to affordable workforce, senior, and family housing in Nederland.
BCHA has been awarded tax credits through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) for funding support for the construction of Tungsten Village. Low Income Housing Tax Credits are a critical tool in the creation of affordable housing.
The proposal includes:
- 26 high-quality, permanently-below-market-rate rental homes.
- Homes would be affordable to those earning at or below 60% of Area Median Income (AMI)
- Mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom homes
- BCHA is committed to working with the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) to serve district employees who are being priced out of the market. BCHA is planning to set aside up to four (4) homes for qualified district employees.
- Community Amenities include: Secured keyless entry feature, individual home storage, paved patio area with outdoor seating, play-ground/tot lot & ponds, on-site secure bicycle parking, pedestrian connection to regional transportation network, and on-site property management office.
BCHA has a long-standing relationship with the Town of Nederland and has operated as the town’s housing authority since 1976. BCHA currently owns and manages twenty-four (24) existing residential multifamily homes within the town limits and will be making investments to improve these communities in years to come to help ensure below-market-rate housing options remain in place for residents in these homes. In addition to the 24 apartments currently owned and managed by BCHA in Nederland, BCHA also has 11 Housing Choice Voucher holders who reside in Nederland. Housing Choice Vouchers are housing assistance vouchers used in the private housing market.
In addition to housing, Boulder County has long partnered with the Nederland community across a range of other supports, including food assistance, health coverage, child protection, and child care assistance. Find out about the need for affordable housing in Nederland and our partnerships in support of the community by reading the fact sheet.
- Are you interested in living in BCHA affordable housing in Nederland? Sign up. Please note: this is not an application, nor does it put you on a wait list for these homes. Additional steps would need to be taken once the homes are complete and ready for move-in. We will contact everyone on this list as that time approaches.
- Do you simply want to keep track of the latest information on BCHA affordable housing in Nederland (but are not interested in living in it)? Sign up