Land trust to create 13 permanently affordable homes in Gunbarrel

BOULDER — Denver-based Elevation Community Land Trust recently purchased 13 townhomes in Boulder’s Gunbarrel neighborhood that will be converted to permanently affordable housing. 

“Stabilizing housing costs enables families to do things like put their kids in childcare, to invest in their own education and so many other things that they’re not able to do when they’re paying 50% or more of their income toward housing,” Elevation CEO Stefka Fanchi told BizWest.

The homes on Barnacle and Starboard streets in the Twin Lakes area of Gunbarrel were investment properties owned by late University of Colorado professor David Feng and CU engineering professor emeritus Hon-Yim Ko.

WK Real Estate broker Eric Rutherford, who had helped broker previous real estate deals for Ko and Feng, said Ko called him and said, ‘I’m getting older and David Feng passed away, so I want to sell these townhouses and I want them to be affordable housing.’”

Rutherford, who has also worked with Elevation in the past, connected Ko to the land trust. 

Ko sold the properties, each of which are roughly 1,500 square feet, for a total of just over $3.1 million — less than $240,000 per unit in a city where the median sales price hovers near $1 million. 

“The seller was willing to reduce the price and really make this an opportunity to turn their investment into a community asset,” Fanchi said.

The trust buys properties and then resells them to qualified buyers who earn less than 80% of the area median income. 

The trust holds the land and sells only what has been built atop the land. The new owners keep a 25% equity stake in the appreciation of the home and the remainder stays in the trust. Resale is restricted to buyers who earn less than 80% of the area median income.

“This helps us keep affordability there for generations,” Fanchi said.

The townhomes are currently occupied by renters. But as tenants turn over, the homes will be renovated and sold in partnership with Flatirons Habitat for Humanity, she said. 

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BOULDER — Denver-based Elevation Community Land Trust recently purchased 13 townhomes in Boulder’s Gunbarrel neighborhood that will be converted to permanently affordable housing. 

“Stabilizing housing costs enables families to do things like put their kids in childcare, to invest in their own education and so many other things that they’re not able to do when they’re paying 50% or more of their income toward housing,” Elevation CEO Stefka Fanchi told BizWest.

The homes on Barnacle and Starboard streets in the Twin Lakes area of Gunbarrel were investment properties owned by late University of Colorado professor David Feng and CU engineering professor emeritus Hon-Yim Ko.

WK Real Estate broker Eric Rutherford, who had helped broker previous real estate deals for Ko and Feng, said Ko called him and said, ‘I’m getting older and David Feng passed away, so I want to sell these townhouses and I want them to be affordable housing.’”

Rutherford, who has also worked with Elevation in the past, connected Ko to the land trust. 

Ko sold the properties, each of which are roughly 1,500 square feet, for a total of just over $3.1 million — less than $240,000 per unit in a city where the median sales price hovers near $1 million. 

“The seller was willing to reduce the price and really make this an opportunity to turn their investment into a community asset,” Fanchi said.

The trust buys properties and then resells them to qualified buyers who earn less than 80% of the area median income. 

The trust holds the land and sells only…