Breckenridge continues to add workforce housing through buy-down program
Since the inception of Breckenridge’s buy-down program in 2019, the town has purchased 24 units to either resell with a deed restriction or retain for its own employees.
Laurie Best, the town’s housing manager, said the town still believes that the buy-down program is an important way to increase housing for locals. Through the program, the town purchases a unit for sale, adds a deed restriction requiring the occupant to work locally and then resells it for about 15% less than the market rate at the time.
“It’s just one tool that helps us preserve some of that existing inventory,” Best said. “We’re still out there actively acquiring units here and there throughout town in a variety of complexes.”
A few homeowners in the complexes where the town has been purchasing units have expressed concerns over the program. During the Oct. 12 Town Council meeting, a representative of the Kingdom Park homeowners association reminded council that in order to add a deed restriction in this complex it would need approval from the entire homeowners association.
Best said she was aware of this requirement, noting that the town also retains units to house its own workforce. She said the Kingdom Park units are larger townhomes unlike most of the units the town purchases, which could be used to accommodate a town employee relocating with their family.
“We have a need just like any other employer to house our own employees,” Best said. “We’re always looking for units that could provide transitional housing for new recruitments while they’re getting settled.”
Best said Kingdom Park is a “perfect place for locals” given its close proximity to the recreation center, public transit and the grocery store in town. She said the town tries to maintain a diverse set of employee housing to serve its employees’ different needs. While the town is planning to hold onto the units for now, she said she isn’t sure if it will try to add deed restrictions through the homeowners association in the future.
Town Council member Dick Carleton said he has heard community concern that the buy-down program will decrease property values, but the town has seen no evidence supporting that claim. Best said having a deed-restricted unit within a complex does not impact the market value of other units within the complex.
“I think history would show that the complexes where we do have deed-restricted units haven’t seen any sort of less appreciation than anything else is going on in town,” Best said.
So far this year, the town has purchased 11 units, spending just over $7.5 million on the buy-down program. It has resold four units so far this year, earning back just over $1.1 million. Best said the town will be listing five of its units in the coming weeks, including two at Gold Camp, one at Peak Eight Village, one at Highland Greens and another at High Tor. In total, the town has spent about $12.4 million on units through its buy-down program.
In 2020, the town purchased three units for just over $1.2 million and sold three for $855,900. In 2019, the town purchased 10 units for just over $3.6 million and sold three for just over $1.1 million.
Best reiterated that the town looks for units all around town to buy through the program, and it isn’t limited to certain complexes.
“We definitely are trying to spread these employee units throughout town in a variety of complexes, and our units will have a deed restriction on them, so they will be occupied by somebody that works in the community full time,” Best said. “We think that’s actually a benefit to complexes to have locals who live there.”
Carleton said the buy-down program is a win-win for the seller of the property because the town is a cash buyer. He said the town is also working with a number of real estate professionals who know what kind of units the town is looking for.
“We’re targeting units that have traditionally been workforce housing for years, so we’re not trying to buy units that aren’t good fits,” Carleton said.
Carleton said the buy-down program is a more cost-effective way to increase the inventory of affordable housing units, and it’s beneficial because it is a much quicker process than developing.
“It’s the cheapest way that we can get units for people in perpetuity,” Carleton said. “… It gets these units into the employee housing pool immediately, whereas building, from conception to delivery … that’s years. That process takes a long time.”
• July 1: One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Val D’Isere on North French Street, $335,000. Transition unit for town employees
• Jan. 12: Two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Gold Camp on Ski Hill Road, $440,000. Will be sold in 2021
• March 21: One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Highland Greens on Highfield Trail, $400,000. Will be listed in 2021
• March 31: One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Highland Greens, $400,000. Transition unit for town employees
• March 30: Three-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family home in French Creek on Bucyrus Road, $675,000. Transition unit for town employees
• April 27: One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Val D’Isere on North French Street, $425,000. Transition unit for town employees
• June 1: One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Sky Park on Airport Road, $420,000. Transition unit for town employees
• Aug. 31: Three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in High Tor on High Tor Road, $612,500. Will be listed in 2021
• Sept. 8: Two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Gold Camp, $650,000. Will be sold in 2021
• Sept. 24: Two-bedroom, three-bathroom condo in Kingdom Park on Kingdom Park Drive, $775,000. Transition unit for town employees
• Oct. 1: Four-bedroom, four-bathroom single-family home in Silver Shekel on Fairview Boulevard, $1,125,000. Transition unit for town employees
• Oct. 15: Two-bedroom, three-bathroom condo in Kingdom Park, $849,000. Transition unit for town employees
• Oct. 18: Two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in Peak Eight Village on Ski Hill Road, $725,000. Transition unit for town employees
• Oct. 21: Two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Peak Eight Village, $658,500. Will be sold in 2021
• Nov. 13: Two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Gold Camp on Ski Hill Road, $375,000. Purchased for $430,000 on July 31, 2019
• Nov. 27: Two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Gold Camp, $385,000. Purchased for $445,000 on July 31, 2019
• Dec. 13: One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Highland Greens on Highfield Trail, $350,000. Purchased for $395,000 on Aug. 1, 2019
• Dec. 31: Two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Gold Camp, $389,000. Purchased for $405,000 on Nov. 25, 2019
• Sept. 25: One-bedroom, one-bathroom Long Branch condo on North Harris Street, $338,000. Purchased for $405,000 on Sept. 26, 2019
• Nov. 25: Two-bedroom, one-bathroom Now Colorado condo on Now Colorado Court, $278,000. Purchased for $329,000 on Aug. 12, 2019
• Nov. 30: One-bedroom, one-bathroom Wildflower condo on Illinois Gulch Road, $239,900. Purchased for $265,000 on July 12, 2019
• June 3: Two-bedroom, one-bathroom Now Colorado condo, $288,150. Purchased for $339,000 on Sept. 26, 2019
• July 21: Two-bedroom, one-bathroom Now Colorado condo, $274,500. Purchased for $305,000 on Aug. 1, 2019
• Oct. 27: Two-bedroom, two-bathroom French Creek single-family home on Reiling Road, $480,000. Purchased for $600,000 on Aug. 2, 2021
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