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A crane positions a second-floor modular home component for final placement Wednesday at the Two Rivers development. This portion of the development is a Chaffee Housing Trust project for affordable housing. Read McCulloch, executive director of the housing trust, said this component weighs 63,000 pounds (photo by Joe Stone).

The Chaffee Housing Trust affordable housing project at the Two Rivers development in Salida literally got off the ground Wednesday as a crane lifted manufactured housing components into place for the eight-unit project.

“Soon eight families will be living here in homes that will be permanently affordable,” said Chaffee Housing Trust Executive Director Read McCulloch.
Groundbreaking for what will be known as the Old Stage Road Rowhouse was July 18 and it is projected that residents can begin moving in in January, 60 days after the buildings are set. The Two Rivers development is near CR 105 and Scott Street, just east of Oak Street and the U.S. Highway 50 intersection.

McCulloch said this project is important because it’s the first time ever that a project like this has been created in rural Colorado. These units will be built and offered at the 80-percent average median income – making home ownership possible for first-time home buyers. “That means we have gotten concessions so that the home buyer cost will be $170,000. The homes can be passed on to family members, and if sold, a portion of the profits will go to the homeowner, and the rest will remain in the home so that it can stay permanently affordable.

“One of my favorite parts of the moment was standing there with a mother and daughter as they watched their bedrooms fly by and get put into place,” said McCulloch. “To see how eager they were to run in the door and see what it looked like – to see their faces as they watched what will be the first home they have ever owned take shape – that was great.”

McCulloch said that seeing the rowhouses take shape is double exciting for Chaffee Housing Trust because it has taken 10 years of what he calls “tenacity and passion” as an organization since its founding in 2008 to reach this point. “For this organization, affordability is the most important issue in housing.”

A second-floor manufactured housing module stands ready to be incorporated into the Chaffee Housing Trust affordable housing project Wednesday at the Two Rivers development. In the background, a crane prepares to lift a similar module into place (photo by Joe Stone).