Housing Construction Project Moves Forward for Southeast Colorado



Sixty-three houses in six counties in southeast Colorado are slated for construction, a project developed by SCEDD, Southern Colorado Economic Development District using a portion of federal ARP funds which were distributed to communities across the country earlier this year.

Stephanie Gonzales, Executive Director of SECED, Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development, told The Prowers Journal that the project could not have come together without the support and participation of all the counties and cities involved in the housing project.  “We are hoping this leads to an interest from local contractors and developers to create a new and much needed housing development project in this region,” she explained.

The Housing Oversight Committee has approved the plans and pricing of the houses submitted by the developer, Joel Wisian owner of Bywater Development, LLC, whose concept was selected by the Committee and SCEDD.  The houses will be constructed on purchase once the credit of the buyer has been established through local lending agencies and the USDA.  There are several plans for the houses which offer two bathrooms and either two or three bedrooms as well as a porch area to the front or sides of the building.  Buyers can opt in, for an additional cost, to have other amenities included in their purchase, such as a garage.  The selections will be available on the SECED website as well as additional information for financing by mid-December.  A house will not be built until the buyer has established approved credit by a lender.

“We’re keeping the prices in the range of from $151,000 to $199,000 for each basic offering, or generally 80% of AMI,” Gonzales said, adding that this is the first of two phases for housing construction.  While the houses are being offered first to what has been termed, “Essential Workers”, such as police, fire, medical, education or similar professions, each community will be able to determine what employment areas are the most critical.  “After those have been reached, any remaining houses from the original 63 will be offered to the public,” Gonzales stated.  The SECED website will also offer listings of local financial institutions and Gonzales added that her organization will be able to offer down payment assistance but limited only to this project.

Brent Frazee, a Disaster Recovery Planner for SCEDD, will divide his time between Lamar and Las Animas as needed for sales consultations.  The first house will be built in Olney Springs in Crowley County and other communities have offered properties as future construction sites.  Granada will have six sites, Wiley and Lamar will each offer five.  Lamar’s sites are on a plot of land between South 8th and 9th Streets off Savage Avenue.  Other communities may have their properties scattered throughout their areas without a central location.  Springfield, Walsh, Las Animas, La Junta and Eads have all opted in for the project.

Gonzales said the second housing phase can begin without all the first of the 63 houses being sold and will offer duplexes with an orientation towards rentals instead of sales.  “There may be a business that would offer to buy a duplex and rent it to employees,” she said, which will also help alleviate the housing shortage in southeast Colorado.  Call SECED at 336-3850 for more information or visit the website at www.seced.net.   Groundbreaking at the first site is anticipated for April 2022 with a new location breaking ground every 3 weeks, delivering the first finished houses in July of 2022.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceCity of GranadaCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeaturedHot TopicsHousingUtilities


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