Kit Carson receives $1 Million Grant
Kit Carson, Colorado – population 250 – will get a housing makeover due to a $1 million grant announced in July by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funding will support production of sorely needed housing and clean-up in the community’s historic “Main Street” area.

The Kit Carson Main Street Affordable Housing Project will develop five detached homes for rental or homeownership, depending on the community’s needs. The grant will cover rehabilitation of two presently uninhabitable houses; construction of two new homes on empty lots; and demolition of a house on a fifth property and building of a fifth home on that site. Kit Carson Rural Development, a non-profit organization whose mission is rural economic development in the area, will manage the grant.

Amy Johnson with Kit Carson Rural Development explains that when rural communities work to recruit professionals, their “impression of the town” plays an important role, with housing, amenities, and parks and recreation all being intertwined in creating that impression. With 250 residents and a very small Main Street area, the three uninhabitable homes in Kit Carson contributed to a negative first impression of the town. That, coupled with a lack of housing for young professionals, makes recruitment a very difficult task. With five of Kit Carson’s 12 teachers nearing retirement age, recruitment of teachers is increasingly on the minds of town leaders like Johnson.

In areas all across rural Colorado, housing crops up as an impediment to recruiting professionals – not only educators, but healthcare professionals, as well. This sort of improvement project has a tremendous positive impact on how someone considering relocation perceives the community!

The path leading to this $1 million award began with Kit Carson Rural Development successfully implementing the $180,000 Prairie Park enhancement project, funded by Great Outdoors Colorado, or GOCO. Then, they turned their attention to a 6,500 square foot gas station / liquor store / auto sales and service center that had been abandoned roughly 20 years ago. In partnership with Colorado Brownfields Foundation, they were able to get funding from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess and clean up this blighted and polluted site, making way for a business ready site, for which the community is now actively recruiting a business to occupy. Having a proven track record of successfully completing grant-funded projects, Kit Carson Rural Development was ready when Darlene Scott with the Office of Economic Development brought the grant opportunity to the town’s attention.

A total of six grants were awarded by HUD, through their HOPE VI Main Street program. Johnson indicates that these six grantees were chosen from only 38 applicants, many of which were ineligible for various reasons. For more information on the HOPE VI Main Street program, click here.

Congratulations, Kit Carson, on this major grant award!

Article taken from Special Delivery Blog (10/28/2011)

See the Progress
Location #1 - 401 Church Street
Location #2 - 403 Church Street

Location #3  - 405 Church Street

Location #4 - 403 Main Street

Location #5 - 404 Main Street
2012 HUD Low Income Levels
1 person: $34,800
2 people: $39,800
3 people: $44,750
4 people: $49,700
5 people: $53,700
6 people: $57,700
7 people: $61,650
8 people: $65,650


HUD AWARDS $1 MILLION TO EXPAND AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO REVITALIZED
DOWNTOWN AREA OF KIT CARSON, COLORADO
Six small towns receive $5.5 million to include affordable housing to “Main Street” revitalization
DENVER - The downtown area of Kit Carson, Colorado, will get a housing makeover due to a $1 million grant announced today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funding is designed to expand the production of affordable housing to the rural communitys historic central business district or Main Street area.

HUD Regional Administrator Rick Garcia said that Kit Carson is among six communities with populations less than 50,000 that will receive funding under HUDs HOPE VI Main Street program to encourage affordable housing production in their city centers.

Raising capital to build affordable housing can be a challenge when small towns give their downtowns a facelift, said Garcia. This funding provides Kit Carson the tools it needs to create affordable housing for lower income families so they can share with the broader revitalization of their downtown.

The Kit Carson Main Street Affordable Housing Project will develop five affordable detached homes for rental or homeownership, depending upon the communitys needs. The Kit Carson Rural Development, a non-profit organization whose mission is rural economic development in the area, will manage the grant.

Kit Carson, a rural community of roughly 250 residents, has been working on Main Street rejuvenation for many years. Then, the City applied for a HOPE VI Main Street grant to address the Citys lack of decent, affordable housing. Kit Carson Rural Development (KCRD), staffed with two employees, has considered options to purchase five properties. Plans include the following: 1) rehabilitate two (presently uninhabitable) 2-bedroom houses; 2) construct two 3-bedroom detached housing units currently located on empty lots; and 3) demolish a house on the fifth property and replace the house with a 3-bedroom detached housing unit.

The team for the Kit Carson Main Street Affordable Housing Project includes the Town of Kit Carson, Kit Carson Rural Development, The Kit Carson Historical Society, Dan Grinnan LLC. (Contractor), Eric Richardson Construction, and the Design and Build Program at Colorado University Denver.

These grants are issued through HUDs HOPE VI Main Street program that allows small towns to include affordable housing in their ongoing effort to revitalize older, downtown business districts. A portion of HOPE VI funds are set aside to create the Main Street program for small communities that do not have local housing authorities or have one that manages less than 100 public housing units. The funds are used to rehabilitate or construct affordable housing in the area where rejuvenation has already begun.

Also receiving 2009-2010 Main Street funding are Martin, South Dakota; the Municipality of Coamo, Puerto Rico; Hawkinsville, Georgia; Marshalltown, Iowa; and Wrangell, Alaska.

Taken from Hud Website - 10/28/11
Updated: January 12, 2012