Developer: Community Resources and Housing Development Corp.
Architect: Faleide Architects
Major Funders: WNC & Associates, Inc.; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Rural Community Assistance Corp.; Colorado Housing and Finance Authority; U.S. Department of the Treasury
Alta Vista de la Montaña is not your usual apartment complex for farmworkers. “We have about 30 kids on the property,” says Robin Wolff , spokesperson for Community Resources and Housing Development Corp., based in Westminster, Colo.
Some farmworker housing in the past has been little more than a dormitory for the often single men who work the fields. But Alta Vista caters to the farmworkers and their families, with the 41 family apartments at more than 1,000 square feet and with three or four bedrooms each.
Aside from a super's unit, the apartments are reserved for low-income households who earn most of their incomes from farm work. Any rental costs in excess of 30 percent of their incomes are paid for with subsidies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Delta, population 8,000, is a little town ringed by cornfields and orchards on Colorado's Western Slope. It's nearly impossible for farmworkers here to find affordable housing, especially if they would like to live with their families, says Wolff.
Set about a mile and a half outside of town, next to Sweitzer Lake State Park, the property meets the Enterprise Green Communities standards for energy efficiency and has an array of solar panels that provides about 40 percent of the electricity for the common areas.
It took four-and-a-half years to find a site that could accommodate an apartment complex and finalize the financing for the $8 million development. But Alta Vista was “worth the wait,” said Mary Cooper, mayor of Delta, at the ribbon-cutting in December 2011.