(Las Animas, CO) -- Wednesday is the day that SE Colorado Economic Development directors will put ceremonial gold shovels into the ground to turn the dirt for affordable housing. It's part of a project that was born in Bent county. Bent County Development Foundation director Amanda Leck bursts with excitement as she proudly explains how it got started.
"One of the most fantastic things about this entire story is that it started in the basement of the Bent county courthouse. Our commissioner Chuck Netherton was on the housing oversight committee and he recognized that we had a great need in our region for housing, um not having housing impairs finding employees bringing in employers and brining in people who have uh certain skills and trades to keep our county and our schools running. It's an issue."
The conversation started when they recognized the need, Leck elaborated. Working with Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development and (SECED), Southern Colorado Economic Development District (SCEDD), Leck told us those two entities took the reigns. Leck explained she feels the mastermind and genius in this was Michael Yerman who put together the connections and got the ball rolling.
According to a news release, other entities involved in bringing affordable housing to southeast Colorado include 4Points Funding, and Bywater Development LLC.
The groundbreaking for High Prairie Homes, a southeast Colorado workforce housing development project will happen Wednesday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m., in Las Animas, Colorado. Bent County will not be the first build sight, however, that will be Olney Springs.
According to the news release, which explains the background on the venture, talks began and funding was put in place with the American Rescue Plan Act as a big part of that.
Bywater Development, LLC, who had experience in developing workforce housing, was awarded the contract to work with SECED and SCEDD to complete the project.
Sixteen municipal governments, six boards of county commissioners, two nonprofits and a builder are working together to build 83 new homes. Of those 17 will be single family homes and 33 will be duplexes, owned by 4Points Funding, who specializes in workforce development projects located in Opportunity Zones.
Colorado News Your Way will be there to cover the event and we'll have videos, photos and more in our follow up.