Loveland - March 23, 2012
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) notified the City of Loveland in a March
14, 2012 letter that Loveland must return excess rents collected from senior citizens at Mirasol Senior
Housing Community estimated by city staff to exceed $250,000.
The letter states,
"The HACOL [Housing Authority City of Loveland] has been charging residents of the Mirasol Senior
Community complex located at 1145 Finch Place, rents that exceed allowable affordable rent
maximums for LMI tenants under the CDBG program."
Loveland City Manager Bill Cahill has already decided to appeal the decision and is working with Sam
Betters, HACOL Executive Director, to appeal the decision and prevent the Mirasol Senior Community
residents from receiving the refund ordered by HUD.
Residents of Mirasol have struggled with both Betters and the city for years to remove a $113 "community
fee" they say was tacked onto their rents illegally by Betters in an attempt to collect more rent from tenants
than allowed by law. Mirasol was developed using CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) money
which brings with it certain restrictions. The developer is required to keep a number of units below market
rents but HACOL used what they believed was a legal loophole by creating an extra fee for residents
claiming is wasn't really rent.
The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) were created in 1974 by President Gerald Ford as a
less restrictive way to distribute federal funds for projects that; create more low to moderate income housing,
prevent or eliminate slums and other community needs that impact the overall health and welfare of
residents. Today over 1,000 cities receive CDBG funds from the federal government. Loveland has been
using CDBG funds from the federal government since the 1970's to construct "affordable" housing through
HACOL is an independent non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose board members are appointed by the
Loveland City Council. Residents at Mirasol have long complained to the city that HACOL hasn't kept its
promises made with the Mirasol Senior Community. While the community fee is supposed to cover certain
services like snow removal, club house upkeep and a van to transport senior residents about town, resident
tell LovelandPolitics those services are only sporadically available but the fee is required every month just
like rent. Betters refused to refund the fee to residents when the club house was not available because it was
rented to outsiders, snow removal was cancelled and the general upkeep lacking because HACOL said they
didn't have sufficient funds to pay for the promised services.
On August 9, 2010 the Loveland Planning Commission heard testimony from 88 year-old Mirasol resident,
Bette Jacobs, about unresolved problems with her unit in the Mirasol Senior Housing community in south
Loveland. Chief among her complaints was an extra fee being charged residents that exceeded the
"affordable rents" required as a result of the development receiving CDBG (Community Development Block
Grants) for the construction through the City of Loveland.
Jacobs passed away last year but her struggle continues with friends and neighbors who believe Betters and
HACOL have been violating the law by charging the extra fee. Loveland Councilman Hugh McKean asked
for an inquiry in 2011 but others on the council who are close to Betters believed the seniors were wrong.
Finally, the City of Loveland legal department sent an inquiry to HUD to validate the fee as legal. Instead
HUD responded it is not legal and is demanding the city repay the money.
LovelandPolitics obtained an email sent to Loveland City Manager Bill Cahill by Betters on March 20, (see
right) requesting a meeting with Cahill, Mayor Gutierrez and Councilwoman Joan Shaffer to strategize the
Private Investors / Profit Always Kept Secret
HACOL involves private investors in their government funded projects but refuse to release information
regarding the investors or what money they are taking as profit from largely government funded projects.
Like other HACOL projects, HACOL turned ownership of some parts of the property over to a privately
owned limited liability company which contributes to the confusion for Mirasol residents. Curiously, Betters
or the city have not discussed having the private investors who created and benefited from the extra rent fees
of Mirasol residents repay the amounts collected.
Betters refuses to release the names of the investors or provide financial details to the residents of Mirasol of
how much private profit has been made from the project. Since its inception, Mirasol has been collecting
more rents than allowed by the restrictions placed on it to qualify for the free CDBG funds from the federal
The Loveland City Council have not placed the matter on any future agenda and appear to be trying to fight
HUD quietly without notifying the residents of Mirasol.
Loveland's Troubled Senior Housing Project
From: Sam Betters
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:36 PM
firstname.lastname@example.org; Joan T.
Shaffer; John Duval Subject: RE: Letters
from HUD re: Mirasol I
The potential implications of these letters
are huge to the City and even bigger to the
I appreciate the City’s willingness to
appeal these findings. I agree that we need
to sit down and figure out how to answer
I would request that we bring the Mayor
and Joan Shaffer into these discussion
along with my Board Chair David Eikner
and carefully strategize how we develop
Samuel G. Betters, Executive Director
Housing Authority of the City of Loveland
375 W. 37th Street, Suite 200
Loveland, CO 80538
970-635-5917 - Phone
970-278-9904 - Fax
|Mirasol Over-Charging Seniors -
Feds Demand Payback
Over $250,000 Rebate For Mirasol Residents Ordered by HUD After
Ruling Rents Exceed Required 'Affordability'