News Archive

July 13, 2017

City of Lafayette, Boulder County, and BCHA Finalize Purchase of Land for Affordable Homes

Plans for the 24-acre parcel in east Lafayette represent successful regional housing partnership

Boulder County, Colo. - The City
of Lafayette, Boulder County, and the Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA)
have finalized the purchase of 24 acres of land that will become the site of a
new neighborhood of affordable workforce, senior, and family homes. The
purchase of the parcel kicks off a process that will include collaborative
planning, public involvement, and site design.

“This is a great example of a successful regional partnership to help address our county’s housing affordability crisis,” said Boulder County Board of Commissioners Chair, Deb Gardner. “We are committed to these kinds of collaborations, because they reflect the leadership it takes to move forward on these critical issues our local communities face.”

Details of the Purchase

The
property was purchased for $3.5 million from Flatirons Community Church, a
strong supporter of affordable housing. The closing on the purchase took place Thursday morning, July 12, in Lafayette. An
Intergovernmental Agreement is in place between the City of Lafayette and
Boulder County dedicating the land for the creation of affordable homes, to
include both rental and ownership options.

“With
the median home sales price in Lafayette now becoming unaffordable for most
residents, and with rents also skyrocketing, we are losing community members
who are an important part of our diverse city,” said Lafayette Mayor Christine
Berg. “We have such a great and vibrant
community, and we want to make sure we’re doing all we can to create solutions
for people who are struggling.”

The land
parcel, located at the southwest intersection of Emma and 120th
streets in east Lafayette, sits in an ideal location for housing that will be
dedicated to lower-income workers, community elders, and others who need safe,
stable, and quality homes they can afford. It is near important services and the Lafayette town center, and the
area is considered a priority by the Boulder County Transportation Department
for the enhancement of multi-modal transportation options.

Potential Uses for the Property

Partnerships such as this one between the City of Lafayette, Boulder County, and BCHA are crucial to helping identify parcels of land suitable for the creation of affordable homes, and to finding financial collaboration opportunities.

Boulder
County provided most of the funding for the purchase of the 24-acre property,
and the City of Lafayette will reimburse the county for its contribution to the
purchase over time from its Affordable Housing Development Fee fund.

Over the
past decade, the City of Lafayette, Boulder County, and BCHA also partnered on the creation of
Josephine Commons and Aspinwall, 146 affordable homes for seniors and families
just north of Baseline Road. The City of Louisville, Boulder County, and BCHA
recently collaborated to build 200 affordable homes on that city’s north side.
Known as Kestrel, the community is now leasing to seniors and families.

The
Lafayette land purchase will also help both the City of Lafayette and Boulder
County meet goals for housing affordability in the years ahead. With the new
development and two others in the planning stages, nearly 20 percent of
Lafayette’s homes would be affordable or attainable. Boulder County is also
helping lead an effort to establish a county-wide goal for affordability by
2035.

Opportunities for Public Input

While
planning for the parcel is in its very early stages, the City of Lafayette and BCHA
will collectively develop plans for engaging the community in a conversation
around the development of the land and amenities that could be included with
it. Area traffic, groundwater, and wildlife studies, among others, will also be
conducted as the process moves forward.

Message from BCHA Director Frank Alexander

“We are very excited to partner with the City of Lafayette once again to help provide additional permanently-affordable homes for the many who have been impacted by Boulder County’s rising housing costs,” said BCHA Director Frank Alexander. “As we work together with communities across our county to build a forward-looking plan for affordable housing, this Lafayette opportunity is a perfect example of what can be done when we collaborate around solutions.”