Frisco Workforce Housing Inventory

Frisco Workforce Housing

Why is Housing a Challenge in Mountain Communities?

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/second homes and vacation rentals and the lack of inventory inherent in a community with limited buildable land, as Frisco is surrounded by National Forest on three sides and Dillon Reservoir on the fourth side. Couple this with a tourism based economy, which primarily produces lower paying service jobs, and housing the local workforce becomes challenging.

How to be a Part of the Solution: Frisco Housing Helps

The Town of Frisco has a program, Housing Helps authorized by Resolution 21-17, where the Town provides cash for a deed restriction in order to incentivize real estate buyers and homeowners to deed restrict their properties to maintain and sustain homes for locals working in the community. The Town in turn pays buyers, businesses, current property owners, and investors to accept a deed restriction on homes that are currently without a deed restriction. 

What kind of deed restriction? 

  • The most flexible type- recipients of Housing Helps assistance are required to execute an occupancy-only deed restriction, where occupants (owners or renters) must work at least 30 hours a week at businesses within one mile of the Ten Mile Basin- basically Copper, Frisco (including the hospital, County Commons, and the middle school) and Farmer’s Corner (including the high school). 
  • There are NO income caps, NO price appreciation caps, and NO household size requirements as part of this occupancy-only deed restriction. 

How much cash assistance? 

  • 10-15% of the value of the property- The Town estimates that the value of the deed restriction will likely be in the range of 10-15% of the market value of the property.
  • The amount paid for a deed restriction will vary depending on the market and how well the home meets the current needs in the community.
  • Participants may use the funds for ANYTHING, including using it as part of their down payment. 

Program Options

  • Option 1: Town purchases a deed restriction from a new home buyer who can use that cash assistance for anything, including as down payment assistance. Buyers may include businesses or investors who want to rent their properties to occupants who work at least 30 hours a week at businesses within one mile of the Ten Mile Basin.
  • Option 2: Town purchases a deed restriction from a current property owner (including businesses and developers) and then this property has a deed restriction that limits occupancy to local workforce community members who work at least 30 hours a week at businesses within one mile of the Ten Mile Basin.
  • Option 3: Town purchases a market rate or existing deed restricted housing unit and resells the property with a deed restriction limiting occupancy to local workforce community members. Income caps, price appreciation caps, and/or household size limits may be imposed at the discretion of the Town if the property is purchased by the Town.
  • Option 4: Town provides financial assistance to a current property owner to construct an accessory dwelling unit that is deed restricted to local workforce community members who work at least 30 hours a week at businesses within one mile of the Ten Mile Basin.
  • Option 5: Town partners with Summit County to purchase a deed restriction from a current property owner (including businesses and developers) that limits occupancy to local workforce community members with no income cap, price appreciation cap, or household size requirement.

How to Apply:

  • Complete the online Housing Helps application 
  • If approved, Town staff will assist with processing the Housing Helps Purchase Agreement and Housing Restrictive Covenant
  • Process typically takes about 30-45 days, similar to a real estate transaction 

Frisco Workforce Housing Inventory

  • Frisco has 153 affordable housing units located in various developments around Frisco, which includes the Peak One Neighborhood. Many of these units were made available because of incentives in Frisco’s land use regulations.
  • The Town of Frisco owns 17 properties, which includes the Mary Ruth Project, that are rented long-term, primarily for the purpose of providing employee housing.
  • Peak One Neighborhood includes 69 homes, both single family and duplex. 61 of the units are restricted to families earning between 80-160% of the Area Median Income (AMI); 8 are market value; and all 69 of the homes are restricted to people in the local workforce. The Town of Frisco worked with Brynn Grey Partners to develop this twelve and a half acre town-owned parcel of land in the heart of Frisco. This project was completed in 2015. In 2016, Housing Colorado honored Frisco’s Peak One Neighborhood with the Eagle Award for its outstanding contribution to affordable housing in Colorado.

  • Mary Ruth Place Project– In late 2016, Frisco Town Council decided to move ahead with this workforce housing project on Town owned land at 306 Galena Street. This project included the construction of nine new units of workforce housing: one studio, five 1-bedroom units and two 2-bedroom units. Four rental units were available for employees working in Frisco and/or the Ten Mile Basin area (the remaining four units were made available to Town of Frisco employees). The already existing 2-bedroom unit in the historic Mary Ruth House on this property was also improved and remains workforce housing. Funding for the units being built as rentals for Town of Frisco employees came out of the Town’s capital improvement fund, and funding for the units being rented to employees of Frisco businesses came from 5A revenues. The Town of Frisco currently manages these properties. These long term rental units with the option to renew, and pets are allowed with permission. Construction was completed in November of 2018.
  • Coyote Village Townhomes– In June 2018, the Town of Frisco purchased four 1,000 square foot newly refurbished townhomes at 821 Pitkin Street. Each unit includes a fenced in yard and a two car garage. The Town purchased each unit for $425,00 and sold them for $332,553 (100% AMI). Two of the units were designated for sale to Town of Frisco employees, and the buy down of these units was funded through the Town’s capital improvement fund. The buy down for the two other units, which were made available to employees of Frisco or Copper Mountain businesses, were paid for with 5A revenues.

Granite Park

Granite Park at 619 Granite Street – The Town of Frisco and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) have partnered to develop plans for workforce housing at 619 Granite Street in Frisco. The approximately 0.58 acre site was previously used as a mobile home park to provide affordable housing for CDOT employees. The Town of Frisco now owns this site and is working with CDOT to build a 22-unit workforce housing project, which will be available for rent in the fall of 2024.

NHP Galena Street and Main Street Projects

The Town of Frisco has been working to develop rental workforce housing units on Frisco Main Street and Galena Street with the NHP Foundation, which is a not-for-profit real estate organization dedicated to preserving and creating sustainable, service-enriched multifamily housing that is both affordable to low and moderate income families and seniors, and beneficial to their communities. In May 2023, Frisco Town Council approved Ordinance 23-14 concerning the development of two affordable rental housing projects, where the Town of Frisco intends to grant a long-term ground lease at 602 Galena Street to NHP Foundation to facilitate the development of affordable housing units. NHP has also purchased 101 West Main Street to develop affordable housing. Through this acquisition, NHP would finance, construct, and operate affordable housing improvements, in addition to owning the property. NHP has requested the Town make a loan of $2,500,000.00 to assist with acquiring the property. NHP intends to submit an application to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) for an allocation of 9% federal low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) for 602 Galena Street and an additional application to CHFA for an allocation of Colorado tax-exempt bonding authority and 4% federal LIHTC, along with an allocation of Colorado state housing tax credits for 101 West Main Street.

In the development agreement and the subsequent amendment, NHP has agreed to develop 602 Galena Street into no less than 54 units and no less than 49 units at 101 West Main Street, for 100% affordable housing; so over 100 units. Town Council determined that it is in the public interest for the Town to grant a long-term ground lease over 602 Galena Street and to loan $2,500,000.00 to NHP for the acquisition of 101 West Main Street for the purpose of developing affordable housing units because the need for workforce housing greatly exceeds the supply.

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2024 on 602 Galena and construction at 101 West Main will follow.

  • Basecamp Project– In February 2017, Brynn Grey, the developer of the Whole Foods/Basecamp Development, proposed building 25 units of workforce housing requiring an amendment to the real covenant and agreement related to pad 5 at the Basecamp Development to allow residential units on the 2nd floor or above. Residential uses were not listed as prohibited in the original covenant agreement for the Basecamp Development, nor expressly noted as a permitted use, and hence, the owner of the property, Brynn Grey, had to ask the Town of Frisco for an amendment to pave the way for 25 units of workforce housing. Part of the agreement with the Town included the stipulation that employees in the Ten Mile Basin must be given preference for these units. Brynn Grey purchased the land for the Basecamp development from the Town of Frisco to develop retail spaces, which now house Whole Foods and the Rio Grande Restaurant, as well as other businesses. Construction was completed in February 2019.
  • Foote’s Rest Project– This project at 510 Main Street consists of 70 hotel rooms, a bowling alley, a restaurant and other lodging amenities. Employee housing units are also planned as part of this project. There is no anticipated date for project completion.

  • Lake Hill Project– The Lake Hill property, located along Dillon Dam Road in unincorporated Summit County and adjacent to the Town of Frisco, is a workforce housing project being spearheaded by Summit County. 400+ housing units of a variety of types, including single family detached, duplexes, townhouses, and large multifamily buildings are contemplated. In 2000 the Town of Frisco identified this 44.81-acre parcel as a desirable location for affordable workforce housing. In 2011, Summit County took a lead on the acquisition of this property at the request of the Town of Frisco, and in 2016, Summit County purchased this land from the United States Forest Service.
    • In March 2017, Frisco Town Council discussed the Lake Hill Master Plan in a joint meeting with Summit County Commissioners. While there is much support for the plan, Frisco Town Council members noted unresolved concerns including but not limited to the following: traffic flow at Dillon Dam and Highway 9, the amount of proposed units and availability of water. There has been no request to annex this property into the Town of Frisco, but Summit County has involved Frisco in stakeholder planning throughout the process.
    • The Lake Hill Master Plan is intended to be a flexible guide, and there is a robust entitlement process still ahead before work can begin on building housing on this site, including the installing infrastructure. Construction would be in phases over a 15-20 year period of time. Summit County approved the Lake Hill Master Plan in July 2017, and a construction timeline has not yet been determined.
    • Goals of the Lake Hill Project include:
      • Having mix of housing styles and types, with both rental and ownership opportunities.
      • Provide housing choices affordable to a variety of income levels to encourage a healthy, diverse community and address the needs identified in the 2013 Summit County Workforce Housing Needs Assessment; 2016 Summit County Workforce Housing Demand Update; and the 2019 Summit County Workforce Housing Needs Assessment.
      • Create opportunity for people to easily move within the neighborhood, to upsize or downsize their homes as life situations change.
      • Architectural design and scale shall be compatible with the local aesthetic found in the Town of Frisco and surrounding areas, and follow the guidelines included herein for site and building character
      • Respect and fit into the surrounding natural environment.
      • Build sustainable, energy-efficient homes that will offer ongoing affordability, durability and low costs of ownership and operation.

There is no anticipated start date for this project.