What is Affordable Housing?
Affordable housing units are homes that are within financial reach for Summit County’s middle class – teachers, firefighters, small-business owners, government employees, newspaper reporters, day care providers, young professionals, ski patrollers, bartenders, restaurant managers – the people who keep the wheels turning in our community. These are the people who, in many other communities could afford housing, but because of Frisco’s supply-squeeze, find themselves priced out of the home market here.
The 2006 median home price in Frisco was $520,000. The median household income for a family of three is $70,900. To afford that median priced Frisco home at $520,000, a family would have to learn $139,000 or almost twice the median income for a family of three. According to the Summit Combined Housing Authority, Frisco’s middle class can afford homes ranging in price from $134,000 to $347,000. To make livable homes available in this price range requires diligent planning and dedicated support from the community.
In some cases, land may be supplied by a government entity and then developed by a private developer, who can then sell the homes at an affordable price to families and individuals within specified middle-income ranges. In other cases, a developer may own a piece of land and wish to create a residential development. In many areas town zoning regulations allow the developer to exceed the maximum number of residential units if he or she includes some affordable-housing units among the market-rate units.
To keep these homes affordable (in either of the above scenarios), each home has a deed-restriction, usually limiting the amount of annual appreciation, should the owner sell the home at some future time. That way, the home remains affordable for the next buyer down the line, but the existing homeowner has the opportunity to build equity in the mean time without being saddled with an impossible mortgage payment.