Dear Supporters of
Living Wisdom Village - Elders creating Community
There has been a lot of progress on our project recently and I want to bring you up to date. Affordable senior housing in Crestone is moving closer to manifestation. CPCH was finally able to enter into a contract to purchase 4.6 acres (Tract 3) in Crestone, due east of the Crestone Charter School. The sellers are being very cooperative in working with a non-profit and CPCH has until April 30, 2020 to close on the land.
Prior to closing, CPCH must be certain that they can develop the land for multi-unit housing and have submitted a Planned Unit Development (PUD) application to the Town of Crestone. In early January the Town’s Planning Commission recommended approval of the application to the Board of Trustees. The Trustees have set the matter for a public hearing on February 10th at 1:00 pm at Town Hall. This is the time that the Trustees will hear public comment on the proposed use of the land. The Town Government seems to be in favor of this housing project and thus far there has not been any opposition expressed.
The PUD process is in 2 steps; Step One is called the Preliminary Plan and has the applicant provide an overview of the project and its intent. The Town’s Zoning Regulations contemplate the applicant’s need to receive PUD approval prior to spending thousands of dollars developing the project. The Board of Trustees will approve or not approve the application based on the Preliminary Plan. Once PUD approval has been received, CPCH will then issue Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) to hire an architect and engineer to assist them in developing the details of the project. When that process is complete, and all the construction and other development details of the project are known, that information is submitted to the Planning Commission and Board of Trustees as the Final Plan (Step Two). CPCH has one year following PUD approval to submit the final plan.
The CPCH Board has begun fundraising intensively now that land is under contract. In 2019 over $25,000 in donations were received. Most of the next steps following PUD approval will include grant writing - for an architect, engineer, and updated needs assessment. Grantors require that applicants have “matching funds”, a pool of money obtained by donations. Matching funds show that there is strong community support for a project. Some funders require a 50% match to the amount being requested; other funders are more lenient in this requirement. The bottom line for CPCH is that they must continue fundraising. I have attached a project flow chart that shows the sequence of significant actions.
Colorado Division of Housing (CDOH) will be providing the most funding for Living Wisdom Village construction; their money will come at the end of the grant writing process. Because CPCH cannot currently determine the project cost, there is no way to anticipate how much CDOH will provide. They are very supportive of this project and the State enacted bills in 2019 that will increase the amount of funds that CDOH will receive over the next three years for affordable housing projects. The other major funders will be Front Range foundations; there are 3-5 of them that support projects for seniors, although not all of them support housing projects.
There are currently five people who have asked to be placed on a waiting list for Living Wisdom Village housing. That represents a quarter of the units CPCH anticipates building. CPCH has not yet begun advertising for renters; people reaching out for this help so early in the project significantly shows the great need for affordable senior housing.
There are two ways to help us create affordable senior housing:
1 - Attend the Public Hearing on the PUD application on February 10th, 1:00 pm at Crestone Town Hall and/or write a letter in favor of the project. Letters can be dropped off at Town Hall, emailed to or sent to P.O. Box 64, Crestone, 81131. The CPCH Board of Directors would be appreciative of strong support in this process. Letters of support need to be received at Town Hall by February 6th.
2 - CPCH needs donations to keep this project moving forward. Enterprise Zone tax credits of 25% continue to be available for donors. Cash gifts of $100 or more qualify for this tax credit, which provides you with a 25% reduction in your Colorado taxes. Please contact me if you would like more information on this economic development incentive. Receiving donations at this point in the process is crucial for momentum and grant writing. Checks should be sent to CPCH, PO Box 911, Crestone, CO 81131.
Know that all your information is kept confidential, both personal information and donation amounts. CPCH does not share or sell its donor information.
I am deeply appreciative to you all for your continued support of Living Wisdom Village. If you have questions that haven’t been answered by all the information provided in this email, please let me know, and I can share the questions and answers with the group.
It’s so exciting to see a long-held vision start to become reality. This project offers huge benefits for Crestone’s senior population and for Crestone as a whole by providing the opportunity for elders to remain in their community. Again, my thanks for your support.
In the spirit of inclusive affordable living,
Crestone Peak Community Housing