In November 2021, the Town of Frisco launched a long-term rental incentive pilot program, approved by Town Council at their October 12, 2021 meeting. The program aims to immediately increase the number of long-term rental units available to the Town’s local workforce. During the summer of 2021, Council also approved the second iteration of the Frisco Housing helps program to incentivize home buyers and current homeowners to deed restrict their properties.
Town Council directed staff to launch the Frisco Housing Locals pilot program with the goal of testing the viability of this approach by housing Town of Frisco employees for six-months with a program budget of $100,000, which includes management and maintenance fees, as well as other possible incentives. Leasing to Town employees will provide the opportunity to focus on how this program works with the Town’s employees, before making it available to the larger community.
The Town of Frisco is working with Omni Real Estate, a local real estate and property management group in Summit County experienced in assisting residents in finding long-term housing and negotiating affordable leases, to administer the program.
- In the preliminary program, the Town will master lease a property, which means the Town will assume responsibility for finding and screening tenants and collecting rent and security deposits.
- The Town will sub-lease the property to Town of Frisco employees who will be screened through a background check.
- General property management and property maintenance needs, including 24-hour emergency call coverage, will be paid for by the Town.
- Each agreement between the property owner and the Town, including any financial incentives, will be negotiated to reflect the specifics of the situation such as unit type and condition, the owner’s expenses, and employee’s wages.
- As an additional incentive, the total lease amount will be paid upfront to the homeowner upon signing the lease.
The conditions of this program are informed by a property rental survey the Town administered in August 2021 to all active STR owners and property managers. The survey gave Town staff a better idea of how homeowners use their properties, helped identify the biggest barriers to renting long-term, and provided possible solutions to overcoming those barriers. While many respondents listed owner occupancy of the property as a barrier to renting long-term, some respondents have expressed interest in long-term leases on a trial basis, but with with the support of financial incentives and management of the leasing process and tenant needs.
“Staff will continue to fine-tune the program details to achieve optimal outcomes for both homeowners and tenants. Frisco Housing Locals is one of several steps the Town is taking to create more affordable workforce housing and support our community and businesses, and we are getting creative and looking at all ideas as we are working though this nuanced issue,” stated Frisco Community Development Director, Don Reimer.
Frisco Housing Helps 2.0
The goal of Frisco Housing Helps 2.0 is to incentivize home buyers and current homeowners to deed restrict their property to maintain and sustain homes for locals in the community. The Town will pay individual buyers, businesses, current property owners, and investors to accept a deed restriction on homes that are currently unrestricted. In return for financial incentives, the recipients are required to execute an occupancy-only deed restriction (occupant must work 30 hours a week within one mile of the Ten Mile Basin) that will insure the property is used for local housing into perpetuity. Deed restrictions are occupancy-only, and do not include income caps, price appreciation caps, or household size requirements.
Frisco Housing Helps 2.0 has four financial incentive options:
- Option 1: Town provides down payment assistance
- Option 2: Town purchases a deed restriction from a current property owner
- Option 3: Town purchases a market rate or existing deed restricted housing unit and resells the property with a deed restriction
- Option 4: Town provides financial assistance to a current property owner to construct a deed-restricted accessory dwelling unit
The application process typically takes about 30-45 days, similar to a real estate transaction. If an application is approved, Town staff will assist with processing the Housing Helps Purchase Agreement and Housing Restrictive Covenant.