Affordable Workforce Housing is an issue in many communities throughout Colorado and is especially critical in resort communities. The Town of Breckenridge is taking a proactive approach to meet the needs of local employees, and is addressing the issue through a variety of tools and strategies. Providing affordable housing options for the local employees is vital in sustaining our community. The goal of the Breckenridge Workforce Housing Program is to insure that affordable housing is integrated throughout the community to provide a variety of housing options for the local workforce.
In 1988 the first dedicated workforce units were established in Breckenridge as a result of the Town’s newly adopted development code. The code is a combination of traditional zoning and performance zoning and incentivizes development that benefits the community such as deed restricted workforce housing. The early deed restrictions associated with these units were not very sophisticated and generally only prohibited the use of the properties for short-term rentals. As time went on the deed restrictions became more sophisticated incorporated elements such as the requirement of full-time work in Summit County and Income testing which are mechanisms designed to preserve the affordability of the homes over the long term and assure that they are being utilized by our local workforce. Over time, the Town has assessed the housing needs of the local community. The following reports outline the past and present housing needs while identifying best practices and strategies for providing more affordable housing options for the local workforce.
BLOCK 11 HOUSING PLAN
In late 2007, the Town Council endorsed a plan for local workforce housing on property commonly known as Valley Brook and Block 11. The plan allows up to 400 units to be developed on the Town owned property over the course of the next ten to twelve years. The housing will be developed in phases, the first of which will be located on the property commonly known as Valley Brook, just south of the Upper Blue Elementary School. In addition to housing, this project also created trail and transit connections along with pocket parks and recreational spaces through out.
In the fall of 2016 the Town Council broke ground on Denison Placer portion of Block 11 which directly to the South of Colorado Mountain College's Campus to kick off two new projects: Denison Project I which will be for sale town houses and Denison Project II which will consist of studio and one bedroom rental units. To learn more about the vision plan for Block 11 click on the links below.
MCCAIN MASTER PLAN
The next affordable housing neighborhood is located on a 4 acre parcel on the McCain property. The Town has hired a developer and the current plan is for 80 rental units with rents at or below 60% AMI. The McCain master plan identifies where housing is to be located along with other uses. This master plan was amended in 2018.
BRECKENRIDGE FIVE-YEAR BLUEPRINT
Breckenridge Projects More Than $300 Million Invested in Local Workforce Housing in Next Five Years. Read full Five-Year Blueprint here.
2008 AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACTION PLAN
This plan was endorsed by the Town Council in 2008 as an update to the 2000 Affordable Housing Strategy. The Plan establishes specific goals, actions, and targets. The primary goal of the plan is to insure that 900 additional workforce housing units (in addition to the 778 units already existing and/or authorized) are approved and/or constructed by the time the community reaches full build out. It is estimated that there will be over 10,000 jobs in the Town by build out and a target of 1678 housing units will insure that 47% of the employees working in Town could live in Town.
2000 AFFORDABLE HOUSING STRATEGY
This policy document describes the housing needs of the community which consist of both ‘catch up’ or ‘keep up’ needs. Catch up needs are generally current housing shortages and deficiencies such as overcrowding and unaffordability. Keep up needs are generally new housing needs associated with new development. The Strategy outlines specific tools to address the different types of workforce housing needs. This Strategy also established the Towns' Affordable Housing Annexation Policy, which has been particularly effective in creating neighborhoods such as Wellington Neighborhood, Vista Point, Gibson Heights, and Vic’s Landing.
SUMMIT COUNTY HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENTS:
The goal of these studies is to identify the existing workforce housing needs and to forecast future needs, both for ‘homeownership’ and ‘rental’ units. The studies takes into account the changing demographics, aging population, retirees, local wages, jobs, and market conditions to project the future demand and supply. This updated information will help guide workforce housing policies and programs at County level as well as the municipal levels. In the 2020 Summit County Needs Assessment, Breckenridge's projected housing need for 2023 is an additional 1,171 units (841 sale, 330 rental). The NEED today is likely much higher as the study was done before the pandemic which accelerated many factors (market conditions, influx of remote workers, unprecedented price escalation) and notable migration of locals leaving due to housing and financial stress.