Affordable Housing for Our Workforce
A shortage of affordable housing is an issue throughout all of Colorado, especially in resort communities where local employees are critical for tourism and quality of life for residents, second homeowners and visitors. As a world class resort, the Town of Breckenridge remains dedicated to protecting the vitality of our community. Earlier this year, Breckenridge Town Council approved a Five-Year Housing Blueprint to invest $50 million over the next five years to continue to build additional affordable housing and fund several new programs that will preserve locals housing and ensure the town’s businesses are fully staffed year round.
Deed restricted inventory in Summit County dates back to the 1970s. A property with a deed restriction does not allow short term rentals and requires owners, tenants or residents to be
employed by a Summit County business at least 30 hours a week. Since the 1970s, the deed restriction covenants and strategies have greatly evolved to help preserve the local community. In 2008, the Workforce Housing Action Plan was created by the Town of Breckenridge in order to expand efforts to acquire existing free-market units and convert them to permanently affordable workforce housing.
At last count on 12/21/21, there were over 116 individual deed restricted units dispersed throughout Breckenridge with plans for the town to “buy down” as many as they can. Buy downs are an important strategy because units currently occupied by employees are sold over time and often converted to short-term rentals, retirement or vacation homes. It is estimated that there are up to 1,000 units in the Breckenridge area that are currently occupied by local employees. When those units are sold to new owners who do not work locally or rent to local workers, the shortage of affordable workforce housing is further exacerbated. Town of Breckenridge is aquiring many of these properties as they come up for sale and either placing a deed restriction on those properties or offering them as rental properties for local employees. The town’s buy-down goal for 2022 is 24 properties, with more than half of that goal already achieved with the purchase of 13 properties. The new Housing Helps program is yet another way to gain more deed restricted properties.
The new Housing Helps program is yet another way to gain more deed restricted properties. Housing Helps offers a cash incentive for owners to make their homes deed restricted. A sale does not take place; the town just compensates the owner and adds a deed restriction. Recipients may use the funds for HOA assessments, to build an accessory dwelling unit, or any other purpose they choose. In return, the recipients are required to execute a deed restriction that will ensure the property is used for local housing. The deed restriction is perpetual and stays in place even if the home is sold at a future date.
Lease to Locals is a pilot incentive program to create new workforce rental-housing opportunities administered by Landing Locals, a startup specializing in mountain community workforce housing. This program offers property managers and owners generous cash incentives to convert their short-term rentals into seasonal and long-term rentals. Program participants are not required to give up their short-term rental license. Tenants in those units are required to work at least 30 hours per week for an employer based and serving Summit County. Landing Locals provides a free matching service for prospective tenants and property owners to connect. Prospective renters fill out a renter profile and are chosen for interview by the owner based on compatibility and other factors.
New affordable housing projects are also in the works with some nearing their completion date later this year. Through town initiated developments, incentives with the private sector, partnerships and collaborations, there are already over 800 deed restricted homes constructed for locals. The Town of Breckenridge has been successful in acquiring land for the purpose of constructing new affordable housing units. Both rental and for sale affordable housing has been built on town land. The Town of Breckenridge uses incentives to encourage homeowners to build or include ADUs (lockoffs, converted garages, or backyard apartments) with a deed restriction attached to house local workforce.
PROJECTS IN THE WORKS:
BLOCK 11 - 27 UNITS
TO BE COMPLETED BY JANUARY 2023
ALTA I - 80 UNITS
TO BE COMPLETED BY WINTER 2023
ALTA II - 174 UNITS
TO BE COMPLETED BY WINTER 2024
JUSTICE CENTER - 98 MODULAR UNITS READY
COMPLETION DATE NOT YET ANNOUNCED
The Town of Breckenridge recognizes that local employees are crucial. Providing more options for affordable housing gives our community a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining a talented workforce.
Posted by Breckenridge Associates Real Estate on