Workforce Housing

Contact Info

Frisco Town Hall

1 East Main Street
Frisco, CO 80443 United States

970-668-5276
Mon - Fri 8:00am - 5:00pm

Frisco Town Council has identified affordable workforce housing as one of their top 3 priorities, and is working on a comprehensive housing plan, which incorporates multiple strategies to insure employees are able to live where they work.

What is the housing challenge?

Mountain communities, like Frisco, are great places to visit, and their popularity as vacation destinations commonly results in a shortage of affordable workforce housing because of the prevalence of vacation homes and vacation rentals and the lack of inventory inherent in a community with limited buildable land. Couple this with a tourism based economy, which primarily produces lower paying service jobs, and you have a challenge housing the local workforce. The 2016 Summit County Workforce Housing Demand Update is an excellent resource for understanding the breadth and depth of this challenge.

Frisco recognizes that our community is a better and more vibrant place when our workforce can afford to live and raise their families where they work. Workforce housing is intended to serve all areas of the workforce including first responders, medical care providers, teachers and hospitality and restaurant workers, so our residents have the services vital to preserving the quality of life for all community members.

Finding housing solutions

Summit Combined Housing Authority

The Summit Combined Housing Authority (SCHA) was formed in 2006 to serve all of the towns in Summit County and all areas of unincorporated Summit County to facilitate a long term housing solution. SCHA provides education, loan assistance and rental information and enables the sale of workforce housing.

Frisco Housing Task Force

In March 2017, Frisco Town Council made the decision to form a Housing Task Force consisting of community members with diverse backgrounds related to housing. The Housing Task Force had their first meeting on May 11, 2017 and were scheduled to meet twice a month for 6 months going forward (finished meeting in November 2017) . The goal of the task force was to assist the Frisco Town Council by creating a strategic housing plan for the short and long term workforce housing needs of the community. Areas of recommendation would include housing project priorities, code incentives and 5A fund strategies, among other issues.

Housing Task Force members were chosen by Town Council after a robust application and selection process and met together at times and in separate groups, one focusing on projects and the other focusing on policy.

In August 2017 the Projects group put together a charrette to look at 3 different Town owned parcels and presented the results to Town Council at an August worksession. The results can be found in the Housing Task Force Charrette Overview.

2018 Housing Task Force Final Report Final

Workforce Housing Funding

  • In November of 2006 the voters authorized a County-wide 0.125% sales tax and a development impact fee for affordable housing purposes. This was renewed by voters in 2015. In 2015, the Town of Frisco collected $186,000 as part of this tax, and in 2016, $204,393 was collected.
  • A new construction fund (5A) was approved by Summit County voters in November of 2016, and Summit County projects that Frisco will collect $897,650 per year from this .6% tax. This tax ends in 10 years.
  • It is also likely that the Town of Frisco will utilize its Capital Improvement Fund for workforce housing projects as needed to augment what is collected through dedicated sales tax sources

Incentives to Build Workforce Housing

  • Frisco’s land use regulations provide an incentive for the development of workforce housing units. The code allows for an unlimited number of additional “bonus” units within a development as long 50% of the additional bonus units are deed restricted. It works like this. Let’s say a property can build 10 residential units based on the density allowed for the zone district in which the property is located. The Town refers to these units as being allowed “outright”. The developer proposes 20 units instead of the 10 units allowed outright, for an additional 10 bonus units. This means that 50% of the bonus units (5 in this case) must be deed restricted for qualified employees who work at least 30 hours per week in Summit County.
  • Frisco has very permissive code provisions that allow accessory dwelling units in almost all zone districts. Accessory rental units allow land owners to have an extra unit of density on a property, allowing for the infusion of additional workforce units within the town and providing a source of income to land owners. Accessory dwelling units must be deed restricted to workers in the county.

Resources

The Summit Combined Housing Authority (SCHA) is an excellent resource for residents seeking affordable housing. SCHA’s homebuyer class is a great place to start- 970-423-7040.

The Family Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) also offers rental readiness class for perspective renters, a rental housing program and foreclosure counseling– Michel Infante, 970-455-0232 or email Micheli@SummitFIRC.org.

The Town of Frisco Community Development Department is a great resource for helping property owners figure out how to be part of the housing solution through incentives offered in the town’s land use code. – Bill Gibson, 970-668-9121 or WilliamG@TownofFrisco.com.