November 2012 - We are currently conducting compliance audits. Pitkin County Commissioners and City Council authorized compliance audits for up to 100 APCHA ownership units per year. APCHA is directing the first series of audits to those who have violated the requirement to provide APCHA with a bi-annual compliance affidavit. Once that population has been audited any remaining audits will be at random. If your household has been selected in the audit, it is mandatory to fill out and return all requested documents by the deadline. Failure to do so will result in a notice of violation. For more information call 920-5050.
The three main qualifications for individuals residing in employee housing are:
·Work a minimum of 1,500 hours per year in Pitkin County
·Not own other property in the Roaring Fork Valley
·Maintain their employee home as their sole residence - they must stay in their home at least 9 months per year.
Any tenant and/or owner of employee housing that become the subject of a complaint will be required to provide additional documentation to demonstrate that they continue to meet APCHA guidelines.
When APCHA receives a complaint and finds grounds to move forward, a letter is sent to the tenant/homeowner requesting information, documentation and/or compliance. If a violation has occurred, a Notice of Violation letter is sent. Tenants/homeowners are given 15 days “to cure” a violation and/or request a Grievance Hearing with the APCHA Board of Directors per the APCHA Guidelines. If the violation is not “cured” APCHA will seek legal action requiring the unit be listed for sale if it is an employee-owned unit or the unit be vacated if it is a rental unit.
Prior to 2001, only tenants in deed restricted rental units were required to be re-qualified by APCHA every two years per the Housing Guidelines. Due to an increasing number of complaints regarding alleged violations of sales deed restrictions over the years, the APCHA Board, City Council, and the Board of County Commissioners incorporated a re-qualification program for sales units into the Housing Guidelines. APCHA staff began to implement the sales compliance program in 2001.
In 2002, staff completed a number of random audits with a goal of re-qualifying all homeowner over a 2 year period, however, the enforcement process was put on hold in ’02 due to staffing issues.
In 2003, the Enforcement Coordinator position was changed to Qualification Specialist. This position processes applications and community complaints and has redefined systems timelines and legal processes for the program.
In July 2004, staff created a 3-tiered priority system to more efficiently respond to compliance concerns.
In November 2004, affidavits were mailed to approximately 1200 homeowners. In March and May 2005, second and third letters were sent and in September, Notices of Violation were sent. The process took about one year to complete with the final affidavits received November 2005. Due to community concerns raised about requesting tax returns, staff offered homeowners the option of providing a signed affidavit as an alternative to providing tax returns. This was approved by the APCHA Board, City Council and the BOCC.
In 2005, staff painstakingly compared 1200 APCHA homeowners with the Pitkin County and Eagle County Assessors’ database. This led to 20 compliance cases – 10 of which were unfounded (people with same name, office or commercial space, allowed to own other property per deed restriction) and the others were legitimate cases resulting in 5 sales. The remaining 5 were cases where APCHA homeowners who failed to sell their free market homes within the 180 day timeframe and after notification the five units were sold.
In 2007, staff began requesting copies of loan applications to ensure assets listed with the lender match the assets listed with APCHA.
In February 2007, affidavits were mailed to approximately 1200 homeowners. In May, second letters were sent and in July Notices of Violations were sent. Approximately 20 have yet to respond.
In 2007, because of staffing issues and a large volume of sales due to Burlingame and rental turnovers due to new immigration legislation, the Qualifications Specialists devoted more time to administrative tasks and application review than to compliance.
In 2008, staff worked on several recommendations and guideline suggstions to more efficiently process complaints and audit the sales and rental inventory
In 2008, staff began using a nantional program called ChoicePoine/Auto Track to pull asset information.
In 2009, staff added maximum rental rates to the database for the 100's of scattered units in the City/County and added the information to the website.
APCHA won a compliance case and brought the unit into compliance for the first time since the unit was built. Legal costs were awarded to APCHA.
Legal council has reached a settlement with a Condo Association in which the non qualified tenants will vacate by September 30, 2009.
In district court, APCHA recently won an appeal regarding the Aspen Highlands Rental units.
APCHA is continuing negotiations regarding three homes located on deed restricted property, and is very close to settlement.
APCHA purchased a home that was out of compliance and had safety issues. Home has been occupied by qualified tenants and property will be rebuilt in the future.
Staff mailed 1,322 letters to homeowners requesting they sign the compliance affidavit.
The most common complaints during a 5 year period were: