$7 million Breckenridge affordable housing project moves forward | SummitDaily.com

Back to: Local

$7 million Breckenridge affordable housing project moves forward

Despite deed-restricted workforce housing available in Breckenridge neighborhoods like Valley Brook, the area is still experiencing a shortage in affordable long-term rental and ownership units that town officials have said is approaching a housing crisis.

Housing in Breckenridge might be slightly easier to find by the end of 2016.

A workforce housing project estimated to cost roughly $7 million could start construction just north of town as soon as this autumn.

The Summit Board of County Commissioners approved plans Tuesday, March 3, to build a project with 25 to 30 two-bedroom rentals.

Final resident income targets haven't been decided, but officials are currently looking at targeting people earning 60 to 80 percent of the area's median income, or between $38,000 and $50,000 a year for one person and $43,000 and $58,000 combined annual income for two people.

The joint project between Breckenridge and Summit County government will be on county land at 143 Huron Road, or County Road 450, at the current recycling drop-off site near the 7-Eleven.

The recycling facility will be relocated in the spring to a town parcel on Coyne Valley Road.

County and town officials expect the roughly 1.7-acre parcel to be annexed by Breckenridge before the development is completed by either the Summit Housing Development Corp. or the Breckenridge Housing Authority.

County community development director Jim Curnutte said county employees plan to choose a design team for the project later this week.

The town and county have yet to determine the housing's pricing structure or rental rates, but the development will be "green" in its design and operation. It will be built to meet a LEED or equivalent standard, though officials won't pursue the designation due to the costs of certification.

Curnutte said the two government entities agreed to split the costs of the first phase of the project, estimated at about $70,000.

The project was developed after the 2013 Summit County Housing Needs Assessment evaluated the current and five-year needs for workforce housing in the county by river basin.

In the Upper Blue River Basin, the study suggests that between 200 and 370 rental units, and 175 to 280 ownership units, will be needed by 2017.

Since the 2013 study, Breckenridge has worked on developing rental housing, including Pinewood II (45 units by the end of 2016) and Denison Placer (60 units by the end of 2017). Wellington II will add 69 new ownership units between 2016 and 2020, and Maggie Placer has added nine new ownership units.

Including those new developments, officials estimate the housing need in the Upper Blue is between 95 and 220 rental units, plus 100 to 200 ownership units.

County and town planners also point to another factor to consider in the housing shortage.

Several nonrestricted units historically used for long-term rentals were sold as second homes or are being short-term rented through websites such as VRBO and Airbnb.

The Breckenridge Town Council and the County Commissioners will hold a joint work session Tuesday, March 10, at 5:30 p.m., at the Breckenridge Town Hall at 150 Ski Hill Road.

There the local representatives will discuss, among other things, next steps for the housing project, known as CR 450.