DOLA grant awarded to Range View affordable housing project in Saguache

SAGUACHE — The Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) has awarded the Saguache County Housing Authority a Strong Communities Infrastructure Program (SCIP) Grant for the Range View affordable housing project in the Town of Saguache.

This exciting news marks a significant step forward in creating more affordable housing options in Saguache County. The announcement came in April with DOLA granting the Saguache County Housing Authority $639,616 to address the off-site needs required for building Range View, a proposed 32-unit affordable housing complex.

The Saguache County Housing Authority worked hard to secure this grant. Evan Samora, SCHA Executive Director worked in parallel with Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp on both the SCIP application and a “Low Income Housing Tax Credit” application in January 2024 — creating a carefully prepared, detailed proposal outlining their vision and goals for the Range View project, emphasizing its importance for the community. Their dedication paid off, as DOLA recognized the value of their efforts and approved the full amount requested.

SCHA is extremely fortunate to have been awarded the full grant request to cover 80% of the total costs for the $799,520 offsite improvements needed to move the housing project forward. As part of the grant application process SCHA worked with Saguache County, which committed up to $200,000 as a grant match; the Town of Saguache graciously committed $20,000 in total toward the overall Range View project with $7,500 specifically for off-site fire hydrant improvements, and SCHA is also providing $10,000 in total with $7,500 specifically for the off-site fire hydrant improvements.

The financial commitments demonstrate strong community investment in the SCIP request; and the 25 letters of support that were gathered from community members, employers, governments, non-profits, and housing advocates certainly demonstrated strong community support as well.

The Saguache County Housing Authority's Range View project is highlighting the significance of collaboration and community support in achieving affordable housing goals.

The key aspect of this awarded SPIC grant is covering the cost of a substantial portion of the offsite improvement that are essential for building Range View. Range View’s site is adjacent to a waterline; however, the waterline is not sufficient for a multi-family development. The grant award decreases project costs for the required waterline upgrade, road access improvements, and installing utilities/fire hydrant improvements — impacting the overall budget of the project and the debt ratio for years to come.

These improvements will create a safer and more appealing environment for future residents and ensure that Range View integrates with the existing community. The financial support provided by SCIP not only provides SCHA with the ability to confidently move forward with addressing the off-site infrastructure needs but has also demonstrated to additional funders the willingness to make investments in this community affordable housing development.

As the Range View project continues to progress, it will generate even more positive momentum and leave a lasting impact on the community. This DOLA grant award is a significant milestone in a journey that is setting the stage for future success.

“SCHA and our partners are more than just talk; we are taking action to provide affordable housing for the community. This grant award is a game-changer for us. It validates our vision and allows us to move forward confidently in creating a better future for our community,” said Samora, Executive Director of Saguache County Housing Authority.