Aspen City Council and Pitkin County Board of Commissioners are fearful that any financial assistance given to any of their properties would create a situation in which no Homeowners Association would ever repair any part of their property or fund their Capital Reserves (repair funds). Of course, this is a ridiculous notion, completely preventable, and an excuse for inaction. But since our govt. representatives and affordable housing administrators will not make the simple step of formulating a policy to protect the abuse of Housing Funds by actually negligent HOAs, we have begun the process for them. Below is the framework for a policy whereby funds from City and County’s exceedingly healthy Housing Funds can be used to sustain their own inventory and not force unsuspecting owners to reverse inherently shoddy construction.
ELIGIBILITY FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING RESCUE PROGRAMS
WHEREAS, The Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority (“APCHA”) recognizes as communities age, capital improvements become necessary and may exceed the financial ability of owners in affordable housing programs to meet these financial obligations, and
WHEREAS, the APCHA desires to implement certain rules and guidelines in which communities may receive housing assistance in the form of project management and monies to assist in the off set of these major capital expenses ; and
WHEREAS, APCHA as determined that an investment in existing housing stocks is necessary for the viability of the affordable housing program in the Aspen/Pitkin County communities;
NOW, THEREFORE, APCHA hereby sets forth the following criteria for eligibility to receive housing investments.
1. The community must demonstrate that it has Obtained a reserve study and funded the financial obligations set forth in the reserve study at a minimum of 50% of the obligations.
2. The community must be able to demonstrate that capital repairs have been timely made as indicated in the reserve study obtained by the community.
3. The community must be able to demonstrate that, prior to application for funding, the community, investigated the viability of commercial loans to the community to offset the needed financial assistance and that such funding was unavailable.
4. The community must agree to revised deed restrictions, which restriction shall be set forth in the Declaration of the Community, that upon the conveyance of any unit, any allocated portion of such financial assistance shall be returned to APCHA for reinvestment into the program.
5. The Community must fund, after such repairs, the financial obligations at no less than 75% of the anticipated cash requirements to maintain the community.
Currently, APCHA deed restriction rules DISINCENTIVIZE major repairs to prolong the useful life of affordable housing property by DISALLOWING these Capital Improvements from increasing equity or resale values. e.g. Centennial spent $37,000 in 1992 to repair damaged siding. APCHA does not recognize this as a capital improvement while things like increasing kitchen cabinet space are.
Perhaps an opportunity exists here for a positive policy change.