Eric S. Morris and Jeffrey C. Minotto: Rent vs. sale


— While reading the article "First day at First Tracks pulls in 45" (Steamboat Today, Jan. 17), we were struck by the statement from Mariana Ishida whereby the list of 45 names for 47 units would have "to grow in leaps."

First of all, we recognize that this region lacks a sufficient number of affordable residential units that can accommodate the people who provide the vast majority of services or produce the goods for our resort-based economy. Therefore, we commend the leaders, both governmental and private sector, for trying to meet those needs. However, we feel the city's mandate is misguided because it requires the building of affordable units for sale rather than for rent.

Affordable for-sale projects in Steamboat have had trouble finding enough people to qualify for a mortgage while meeting the maximum income guidelines. The city's Community Housing Plan needs to be revised so that the majority of affordable residential units are offered for rent rather than for sale. Fifteen percent to 25 percent (to be altered after further market study) of the total planned affordable units should be offered for sale to accommodate people who will most likely stay in the valley long-term, such as teachers and nurses. However, the balance of the units should be offered for rent at below-market rates to accommodate the majority of workers who have demonstrated a history of transience. This plan will reduce the need for long commutes from Hayden and Craig and will allow those workers to become further and more deeply ingrained in the community.

Even though we are dealing in something outside the "free" market, the rules of the market, dictated by supply and demand, still apply. The extended time needed to sell the affordable units in town, either from lack of demand or the inability of most interested parties to qualify, demonstrates that the true market demand is for affordable rentals rather than "forcing" a market that does not exist by offering these affordable units for sale.

Eric S. Morris and Jeffrey C. Minotto


JustAsking 9 years, 3 months ago

...and just why is it a PUBLIC responsibility to house transient PRIVATE SECTOR workers? Why shouldn't those businesses who rely on seasonal workers subsidize housing?

Why would you want to REQUIRE a developer or project owner to fund this and not the businesses who are actually benefiting from the cheap labor supply?

Tell you what fellas. Why don't YOU rent out a room in your residence for $5.00 a week to a seasonal worker if you are so inclined to make others shoulder the responsibility? Maybe then you will understand why your idea is not only unfair but destined to create more problems than you can imagine. ?


ThreeJobs 9 years, 3 months ago

Jeff and Eric you are absolutely correct about affordable for sale housing not working here. Here's a news flash for you. IT NEVER WILL!!! If you take anytime to investigate where this has been tried--over and over and over--it ALWAYS FAILS.

Ever wonder why you don't see any kind of "progress report" or accountability for the money collected here?

Even at it''s "best" it only serves a VERY SMALL percentage of the group that it claims to help while placing a TOTALLY UNFAIR BURDEN on the rest.

The FREE market is not perfect it's just FAR BETTER than any of the Give-a-Way programs touted by the socialist.


thecondoguy1 9 years, 3 months ago

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!! there is some good thinking here, just for starters, but none the less goooooooooood!!! keep up the lucid thoughts and lets see them here........ sbvr where are you?? links and references please, you got um..............


justathought 9 years, 3 months ago

threejobs, Are you saying that the majority of we the people might be able to take care of ourselves better than the government can take care of us? That left with enough of our paychecks, the majority of we the people would rather work for our wants and needs rather than wait for the government to decide what we need and when we need it? That the majority of we the people might like to get the government out of our pockets and out of our everyday lives? WHAT A CONCEPT?


housepoor 9 years, 3 months ago

How much can a business afford to pay low level(the most abundant type in Steamboat) service industry employees? Do you really think a business can pay maids, maintenance, front desk, shuttle etc. $35+ an hour? We live in a resort town and the majority of our labor used to come from college kids taking a year to ski. They were not looking to buy but RENT for a season. We need that workforce to remain viable.


elphaba 9 years, 3 months ago

These comments are absolutely right on. The subsidizing of units for purchase rather than for rent will never work. The owners will be pleading for abatement from the deed restrictions in future years. Which will then turn into your tax dollars subsidizing their "ride" on the real estate escalator. How is that fair????


corduroy 9 years, 3 months ago

I'd still live in Stagecoach owning my condo than make someone else in town rich off my rent money thanks.

The problem is that renting doesn't encourage full-time residents/workers, only temps. Nevermind someone has to be the landlord there, which means they dictate what the rent is, and will probably need to raise it annually as other costs go up.


thecondoguy1 9 years, 3 months ago

keep this good thinking up, all good lucid thoughts, even colowoodsman, has some good points, not all but he, started out pretty good................ the part about the rich exploiting the poor, I don't agree with, and I have been poor, if I were exploited it was positive, many opportunities to make money, I had 3 jobs, I considered that multiple streams of income, not exploitation.


colowoodsman 9 years, 3 months ago

Steamboat needs to get over its addiction to 'Cheap Labor'. On the one hand they claim 'fair market' when it comes to buying and selling real estate and on the other they do everything possible (including hiring illegals) to keep wages as low as possible. I have heard the tourism people whinning and crying about "their need' for cheap labor like it was some God given right. They claim their buissneses would fail unless someone does the real work at minnumum wage while they reap huge profits to invest in real estate which makes life even harder for local workers. This is the vicious circle that has led to the current situation. If Steamboat is such a great place that many affluent people want to live here, why wouldn't good workers want to live here if they could earn decent wages and afford decent housing? It's all about the rich exploiting the poor and insatiable greed.


buck 9 years, 3 months ago

Subsidized real estate, whether rent or purchase, drives up real estate prices and leads to favoritism. The free market, with some government regulation to prevent (or at least reduce) discrimination due to race, religion etc, is the only way to promote fairness.


ColoradoNative 9 years, 3 months ago

Free market

Build rentals.....

People will rent them...people will rent them....people will rent them

This will help the labor shortage...this will help the labor shortage...this will help the labor shortage....

Supply and demand will find it's own equilibrium....Supply and demand will find it's own equilibrium

Build them in Hayden...Build them in Hayden... Build them in Oak Creek...Build them in Oak Creek Build them is Steamboat (If you can!)



another_local 9 years, 3 months ago

I love the myth of low wages around here. This is one of the highest wage areas anywhere when you look at the wages paid for various kinds of work. I'll grant you costs are high too, but enough already with the class warfare nonsense about exploited workers. If you don't like it here go check out the wages in Kansas.

Minimum wage? Right. Highschool kids working here make 150% of minimum wage. Most service work pays nearly double the minimum. Don't even ask what people in construction trades make compared to other places.

We have a lot of lower skill level positions which are very well paid. There is no such thing as cheap labor around here.


colowoodsman 9 years, 3 months ago

You guys should visit Vail Valley and you can see exactly where SS is headed. There are none so blind know the rest.


colowoodsman 9 years, 3 months ago

sbvor, Planning Commission Cartel???? You crack me up!!! Did you happen to notice that any buildable lots in SS for under $100,000 lately? A know a lot of people that would be interested.


Steve Lewis 9 years, 3 months ago

Eric and Jeffrey, I agree with you about the need for rentals. I'll point out that the current ordinance was intended to target only one level of the array of housing levels needed. That work continually acknowledged other levels should be addressed.

Its true - Not everyone can own. Rentals meet a tougher level of need.

Affordable ownership is one way of binding workforce to the community, and I think we'll see that its working. Affordable rentals are more critical. Not to provide "cheap labor". I agree with the above comments, there is little or no cheap labor here anymore. But our economy will need "enough labor" to function. -Steve Lewis


colowoodsman 9 years, 3 months ago

"There is no cheap labor here anymore". "Construction workers are well paid"." I love the myth of low wages around here". Sounds to me like the Cheap Labor Addicts (CLD's) are in denial.


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