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Mancos Common Press to offer housing to workers in Mancos

The Mancos Common Press has opened applications for its workforce housing in a building adjacent to the press building. (Courtesy Mancos Commons Press)
Housing applications are open until March 25

On May 1, Mancos Common Press’ three workforce housing units will come available for selected tenants in an effort to help provide housing for workers in town who cannot afford to purchase a home. Applications are open until March 25.

According to information provided by the press, workforce housing “serves members of the local workforce whose income puts them between qualifying for housing subsidies and being able to afford a home.”

The workforce housing is in a two-story building that is being built adjacent to the Common Press building, according to Mancos Common Press Board President Tami Graham.

The ground level of the building is a workshop, retail and office space, and the second floor houses the three single-bedroom units.

“We understand that this is a drop in the bucket for what’s needed, but our intention and hope is that it would be a model for other, larger projects,” Graham said. “There’s a lot more need than we’re able to provide for with one lot, but hopefully it will be a demonstration of a good mixed-use commercial office space. We’re a nonprofit art space combined with housing in the heart of one of our communities in the county.”

Talks about the housing started 2½ years ago.

“The late Betsy Harrison (treasurer) and I worked tirelessly on writing all the grants for the project, which included two major grants,” Graham said. “We probably got six different grants, and we raised over $100,000 from individuals in the community. It was a huge amount of work.”

A grant from Colorado Creative Industries awarded the press $1.3 million, and one from Division of Housing, $815,000.

“I do want to say how thankful we are to the Ballantine family,” Graham said. “They worked so closely with us in terms of selling us the adjacent lot and supporting the Mancos Common Press in so many ways over the past 10 years.”

Ballantine Communications Inc. owns The Journal.

Applications are open March 15-25 and are available at the Mancos Public Library, 211 W. First St., and at Sage Properties, 121 W. Grand Ave. Applications may be submitted at Sage Properties Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or online at www.sageproperties.group.

Tenants will be selected at random – per Colorado Department of Housing guidelines – and announced April 1 after noon at Sage Properties.

Merritt Winkler of Sage Properties told The Journal that eligible applicants will be provided a number when they submit their application, and three numbers will be drawn for the three available units.

“Our job is to make sure the applicants meet the state requirements. The selection process is as anonymous, impartial and fair as we can make it,” Winkler said.

Selected applicants have seven days to accept the unit, or the unit will be offered to another applicant.

Preference will be given to people living in Mancos, and tenants must pass a background check and credit check, prove lawful citizenship, have a rental history and verified income that meets the standards set by the Transformational Affordable Housing Grant and Department of Local Affairs.

Additionally, the tenants’ gross income cannot exceed $73,080 for a single-occupancy home and $83,520 for double occupancy. The minimum income accepted is $50,700.

The one-bedroom units are 575 square feet and include a washer and dryer, trash, water and sewer. Wi-Fi and electricity are not included. Each tenant will receive one parking spot.

Pets are not permitted.

Rent is $1,100 per month, and the security deposit is $1,100.

More information about the Mancos Common Press workforce housing can be found at www.sageproperties.group/residential-leasing, by emailing hello@sageproperties.group or by calling (970) 442-3204.