Increasing the quantity and quality of affordable housing in La Plata County
The RHA Land Development program seeks to acquire free or below-market land as available and complete site preparation. Currently, the RHA can only acquire land through donations, however the RHA Homes Fund is capitalizing an investment fund which will provide capital for the future purchase of below-market land.
Other services which the RHA has the capacity to perform in house and can provide in partnership with other non-profit and for-profit affordable housing developers are:
- Due Diligence: RHA staff performs the research into the infrastructural and environmental conditions of a parcel in consideration for acquisition.
- Feasibility Studies: RHA staff evaluates the feasibility of a development project by recommending a conceptual market concept and site plan.
- Grant Funding Acquisition: As a government entity, the RHA is uniquely positioned to request certain state and federal grant funds available for affordable housing and can apply on the behalf of non-profit or for-profit developers.
The RHA believes that affordable housing can also be quality housing. The RHA can assist both non-profit and for-profit developers of affordable housing during the planning and design phase of a project to ensure that the highest quality product achieved.
For the RHA, quality housing is synonymous with green housing – homes which are healthy for residents, the community and the environment.
For us, this means keeping housing affordable for residents by building as energy efficiently as possible and meeting or exceeding Energy Star standards to keep utility bills low; Building with natural, non-toxic and no-VOC materials to maintain healthy indoor air quality for residents; Building according to our climate by designing to shed snow, thoroughly insulating the home and taking advantage of passive solar heating and cooling by orienting living spaces to the sun.
RHA staff can assist both non-profit and for-profit developers integrate green building strategies into their project through the following services.
- Green Design Charettes: The best time in a development process to evaluate the potential for building green is at the very beginning – at best before plat. RHA staff facilitates green design charettes in which team members congregate at the start of a project and discuss the many factors to consider when building green, set realistic, attainable goals, and develop stragies for achieving these goals.
- Green Building Grant Acquisition: Many grants are available for green affordable housing. RHA can work with development teams to help them identify appropriate grants to pursue, fulfill grant requirements, (i.e., meet specific green building performance targets), and facilitate the application process.
- Feasibility Research of Green Building Strategies: RHA can work with affordable housing developers to evaluate the feasibility of implementing specific green strategies on a given project. Strategies can include meeting a criteria like Green Communities or LEED, considering integrating renewable energy such as solar or geothermal, or evaluating a non-convential structural system.
- Green Building Design: RHA staff can assist affordable housing developers in implementing results from the planning stages of a project into the design of affordable housing.
- Green Building Education: The RHA is currently developing educational materials including a book and workshops for helping homeowners increase the affordability of their home by improving the performance efficiency of their home.
RHA contributes upon request from its participating entities to drafting policies related to smart growth and green building. These policies can includeplanning guidelines, building codes, multi-family design guidelines, etc. RHA can assist through contributing to discussions, providing technical assistance, and acquiring grant funding for planning activities.
Call the RHA for more information on accessing these services: 259-1418
Habitat for Humanity: Duplexes at Fox Farm
Click on an image to enlarge
|Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County|
|Fox Farm Village, Bayfield, CO|
|8 total. Phase 1, 2008: 4 units, 2 duplexes. Phase 2, 2009 (anticipated): 4 units, 2 duplexes.|
|below 80% AMI. Home ownership.|
|Green Communities Grant received June 2008.|
|RHA assisted Habitat for Humanity with architectural design, green building design and implementation, application for Green Communities grant funding and fulfillment of design phase Energy Star standards.|
Workforce Housing at Three Springs
An affordable housing testing ground (Durango Telegraph 09/11/08)
Habitat for Humanity goes green (Durango Telegraph 09/11/08)
Non-Profit Affordable Housing Developers
• Community Development Corporation (CDC)
For-Profit Affordable Housing Developers
Green Building Standards
Green Building and Community Development Innovators