Housing Works Initiative
The Housing Works Initiative matches property owners who are willing to convert from short-term vacation rentals to long-term leases with people working in Summit County who are struggling to find year-round housing. If you are a person looking for a place to live and willing to fulfill the tenant guidelines and restrictions for the program, please contact FIRC at [email protected]
Qualifications for Tenants
- Locally employed in Summit County
- One member of the household lawfully present
- Permanent resident of Summit County for a minimum of one year or a firm commitment for year-round employment
In Order to Be Accepted into the Program, Tenants Must Agree to the Following
- Pass a background check
- Pass a credit check
- Meet with FIRC every six months
- Must have a rent to income ratio of 30-35% of your household income
- Allow quarterly home inspections by the Summit Housing Authority
- Be a responsible tenant that follows the terms of the lease
Background Information on the Initiative
Through a collaboration between The Summit Foundation, the Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) and the Summit Combined Housing Authority, this pilot program will work to provide 45 new housing options for working families.
“The goal of this program is to create new long-term housing inventory for working families,” said Tamara Drangstveit, FIRC Executive Director.
“We set the household income limits higher than other workforce housing because we are really hoping to help professionals who work for the school district, first responders, the hospital or managers in the community,” said Drangstveit. “We don’t want Summit County to turn into other resort towns, where our local workforce has to commute from other towns. We want Summit to stay local and we believe this program can be part of the solution.”
Summit Housing Authority will manage the landlord relations and property management piece and FIRC will manage tenant recruitment and education.
The funding for the project is coming from The Summit Foundation and depending on the success, there is hope that additional support can come from towns and employers who see its value.
“While the workforce housing developments are essential to our community, this pilot project compliments those efforts and puts people in homes quickly.” said Jeanne Bistranin, Executive Director of The Summit Foundation. “We will be closely monitoring what works and what needs to change in the future, so we can make this as effective as possible for both tenants and landlords.”
History of the Housing Crisis
Over the last 2 years, the decrease in long term housing options, an increase in population, and an increase in rents have led to Summit County’s housing Crisis. Locals are often faced with spending 40-70% of their income on housing. Families who have to spend more than 30% of their income on rent are at risk of not being able to pay for other essential needs, such as child care, food, and utilities. The high rents and lack of housing availability in Summit County have forced many families to downsize to smaller apartments or share with extended family or roommates, which is often unhealthy for families and children. Other locals who would like to live in Summit are being forced to seek housing in Leadville, Kremmling, or Park County and commute in to work and school. And many local employers are struggling to hire and retain qualified employees because cannot find housing to start with, or choose to leave the County because it is too difficult to make ends meet.
Property Owners Needed
- We are looking for property owners interested in converting a short-term rental to a long-term rental for local working families
Benefits of the Housing Works Initiative Include:
- guaranteed rent payments
- free property management services
- stable qualified tenants
- Philanthropic way to contribute to keeping Summit County’s working class living local