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.
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.
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.
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.
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.