Affordability wheels start to spin |

Affordability wheels start to spin


While the Summit Combined Housing Authority – a product of last November’s election – got off to a rough start, the group is starting to make progress.When some builders jumped off the affordable housing bandwagon earlier this year after feeling betrayed by housing advocates, Bonnie Osborn and the town representatives took a step back and set a goal to add uniformity in how our towns and county define affordable housing.Why is this important? To home buyers, it means instilling trust in the process. New affordable housing in Frisco will not differ in quality, scope and restrictions than new housing in Breckenridge. Uniformity also limits competition between towns. Our community’s competition for retaining locals is the cheaper Front Range and rural communities who have not seen second homeowners push prices through an already vaulted roof. Deed restrictions are especially important to make consistent, as they are what keep houses affordable.Towns are also starting to plan on spending money the new law requires be spent on affordable housing. The biggest project? Breckenridge is planning to build a neighborhood on the Stan Miller property that consists of 75 percent housing, and is talking with the school district about more land for affordable housing around Upper Blue Elementary. The need for partnerships has also become evident in less cash-strong towns. Dillon, for example, has less than $100,000 in the affordable housing reserve, meaning a partnership with the county is needed to bring in sustainable local housing to Dillon’s core. Not only would this help the town deal with foot-traffic issues, but also gives them a bigger resource to make significant improvements.Going forward, we encourage the Housing Authority to remain focused on fairness to towns and the housing industry. And now they know what they need – results of a study will be ready for the public by mid-July – we can expect more literal affordable housing foundations to appear in our neighborhoods.

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