Dillon Town Council eyes rental assistance, lease-to-locals incentives to boost workforce housing

Apartments and condominiums overlooking the Dillon Reservoir are pictured in Dillon in April 2020. The city is in talks about further steps to increase housing for workers.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News Archive

Dillon City Council members continue discussions on further steps to expand housing for workers in the city.

The city administration presented the council with various options for consideration. One would function similarly to Breckenridge’s buy-down program. The City of Dillon would purchase a unit at full price and then resell it to a member of the local workforce at a reduced price. The house would also have a deed restriction to ensure it was available to the workforce.

City council members said they were more interested in buying properties and then renting them out to DIllon locals as their own landlords than buying properties and then reselling them at a lower price. Whether for lease or for sale, any property that the City of Dillon would purchase would have deed restrictions such as: B. Requirement to work at least 30 hours in Summit County.

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“I think our number one priority that I’m getting from this conversation in town is #1 to own the property so it keeps the equity and builds equity, but then we also consider the monthly rent subsidy that’s for residents require rentals,” said Mayor Carolyn Skowyra.

Another option that council members were interested in was creating their own version of the county’s lease-to-locals program, which encourages property owners to rent long-term to the local workforce rather than short-term to visitors. To do this, one idea would be for the city to pay the property owner 20% of the market value up to $150,000 in exchange for a deed restriction. Payment would be in monthly stipends as long as the home accommodated the local workforce.

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“Following an evaluation with the combined housing authority, it was determined that restricting light acts really does not meet the goals of ensuring this unit remains in the active workforce,” City Manager Nathan Johnson said. “One of the things that they encouraged us to look at was this full deed constraint, which has an appreciation cap, has a working component, and then (the city) pays them accordingly.”

Discussions on Tuesday 18th October were a follow-up to previous working sessions on how to further support the expansion of access to housing in Dillon. In September, City Council members categorized various strategies into three options: Build, Buy, and Support. Because construction costs are still high, council members at that meeting said that building new units is not the best short-term solution.

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According to an employee report, the city’s housing fund, or 5A fund, generates approximately $1 million per year with a current fund balance of approximately $5.5 million. The 5A grant was recently extended by voters for another 20 years, expiring in 2046.

In June, City Council members approved an increase in the city’s Down Payment Assistance loan program, which allows city employees to obtain a loan to pay for a home. On Tuesday, the council also approved a resolution to expand access to the program for employees who are in the process of selling their current home. Staff said this would allow staff moving into the district to receive assistance and would encourage them to potentially move from charter-restricted homes to open-market ones.


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