A new housing project that could see the construction of around four hundred housing units on currently vacant rural land could be going up on the east side of Lafayette, Colorado.
Leaders in Boulder County have been trying to respond to the twin challenges of rapidly increasing rents and a rapidly increasing population.
Average rents for a one-bedroom apartment in Lafayette now stand at more than $1,700 - nearly twice what they were 15 years ago.
Meanwhile, Lafayette, roughly 23 miles to the north of Denver, continues to experience an increase in its population, from 24,000 in 2010 to nearly 30,000 today, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in Colorado.
Now, officials with the Boulder County Housing Authority are proposing to build a new housing project at the intersection of E. Emma Street and 120th Street, with rents geared to area median income.
As proposed, the 24-acre project will see the construction of 130 townhomes, 120 multi-family homes, and another 120 senior multi-family units.
Besides the different style of housing units, as designed by the Boulder-based Coburn Architecture, the project will also include walking trails, dog parks, and a community center.
What is being called the Willoughby Corner will see 20 percent of the housing units priced for those making anywhere between 60 and 120 percent of area median income, while a much larger 80 percent of the units will be exclusively for those earning 30 to 60 percent of area median income.
The Boulder County Housing Authority has described the new project as a community of “diverse homes for families, seniors, our workforce, and others who are struggling with the high cost of housing in our community.”
A preliminary plan for the project has won the approval of the Lafayette Planning Commission, with a final plan expected to be reviewed and voted upon later this year.
By Garry Boulard
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