Housing Steering Committee: Vote ‘yes’ on 5A | SteamboatToday.com

Housing Steering Committee: Vote ‘yes’ on 5A

In March 2016, the Steamboat Springs City Council and the Routt County Board of County Commissioners endorsed and authorized the Community Housing Steering Committee to study the housing market in Routt County.

The Steering Committee included locally elected and appointed officials, business leaders and community members. We established the following problem statement and mission:

Housing demand is outpacing supply. The role of the Community Housing Steering Committee is to facilitate the identification and analysis of solutions mitigating the obstacles to housing. The role of the Working Groups is to analyze housing demand sectors through a supply and demand lens and make recommendations to the Steering Committee. Together, the Steering Committee and Working Groups will identify opportunities to address housing supply in Routt County.

In early July 2016, we invited the public to a community meeting at which we invited people to join one of four working groups. We also committed to having a final report to the city and the county by early December.

Over the next several months, more than 120 community members spent more than 2,300 hours analyzing the various housing segments and helping develop that final report. In December 2016, we presented it to the City Council and the Board of County Commissioners.

We confirmed housing supply is not keeping up with demand, leading to rapidly increasing home prices and rental rates. Our environment of prolonged home price and rental rate appreciation is pricing out many local wage earners from our communities. This is leading to a loss of community character and economic competitiveness.

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It was our recommendation the city of Steamboat Springs, Routt County, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, businesses and community members in Routt County establish policies and take significant action to stimulate the production of housing supply. We also listed tasks and responsibilities for each entity we believe will help maintain reasonable home price and rental rate appreciation resulting in the retention of our talented local workforce and the preservation of our beloved community character.

Since we presented our final report in December, we've been encouraged by the steps both the city and the county are taking to address the issues we identified.

But we're especially heartened by the 5A for Homes initiative the Yampa Valley Housing Authority has placed on the ballot this fall.

One of our conclusions was YVHA needs a dedicated funding source to support their development of year-round seasonal, low-income and permanently affordable entry-level housing. And we believe they've found a recipe for success by leveraging a small community investment to achieve a big housing victory like they recently did with The Reserves at Steamboat.

This $13,000,000 community asset provides housing for locals and pumped almost $5,500,000 into our local economy during construction. We believe it's a proven model YVHA can replicate. And it has profound investment returns, both in dollars and in family impacts.

So we believe 5A for Homes makes economic sense. It's comprehensive, it's sustainable and it doesn't place the entire burden on any one sector of our community.

A residential home with a $500,000 valuation will pay approximately $36 per year in new property taxes. A commercial property with the same $500,000 valuation will pay about $145.

In the first year, this will generate nearly $900,000. Roughly one-third will come from local homeowners, another third will come from local businesses and the last third will come from second homeowners.

Using tax credits, developer investments, private equity and other funding sources, YVHA will leverage our community investment to achieve the best possible return. And to ensure future accountability, the tax sunsets in 10 years. If the job isn't getting done, we voters can decide not to renew it.

We enthusiastically encourage the entire community to vote 'yea' on 5A.

2016 Community Housing Steering Committee

Dan Pirrallo, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association

Sheila Henderson, Human Resources Coalition

Doug Monger, Routt County Board of County Commissioners

Kathi Meyer, Steamboat Springs City Council

Roger Ashton, Yampa Valley Housing Authority Board

Angela Ashby, Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors Board

Karen Goedert, One Steamboat Place

Tom Fox, Fox Construction

Soniya Fidler, Yampa Valley Medical Center