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                        Breckenridge Backs Upcoming Housing Initiative

BRECKENRIDGE - Giving unanimous support to the proposed ballot initiative, the Breckenridge Town Council voted the OK to fund a countywide housing authority for the next 10 years.


The vote was prompted by the Summit Housing Authority, which is also looking for an endorsement for the project from each of the local towns, as well as from the various local developers and Breckenridge real estate agencies. The project is designed to meet the housing crunch of the region and throughout the rest of the county.


Town Councilman Rob Millisor asked the Director of the Summit Housing Authority (SHA), Bonnie Osborn, just how far she expected the money to go to meet this problem. She stated that it would provide for $32 million over the next 10 years.


The money would be raised; it was indicated, through local sales taxes and development impact fees. Osborn said that the money raised by each town would be stay in that town and be used to develop housing within it.


Just how far the money would go, however, is uncertain, she said, because it would be hard to predict just how much land might be given as a gift, and actually land values differ in each town and region. As far as housing units that it might provide within the next few years - apparently only about 25% of the 3,000 units that are projected to be needed. She also acknowledged that "It's not going to make much of a dent."


The question was asked as to why the Housing Authority did not go for a higher amount. Osborn indicated that various opinion surveys, while showing support for the goal, also showed that the support level dropped sharply with the higher tax rate.


Currently, the proposed agenda would add 0.125 percent to the sales tax of the county. This would bring in a $1.3 million each year. Development fees would be a a per square foot basis, being graduated according to the size of the project.


When Osborn was asked about how other support for the ballot initiative was going, she indicated that the Summit County Builders Association had voted to support it, as well as the Frisco Town Council.


The real estate community, however, was not yet ready to support it, as indicated in the last meeting of the Summit Association of Realtors. Another vote, however, will be taken next month.

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