Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Housing the Steamboat Work Force

Tom Ross: On the Market
Housing the Steamboat work force
By Tom Ross (Contact) - Reporter
Sunday, April 27, 2008

Community leaders are hosting a series of Friday panel discussions at Rex’s American Grill & Bar this spring and summer to tackle affordable housing issues. Topics will include economic sustainability, community work force and public policy considerations.
Hosts include the Steamboat Springs Economic Development Council, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., and the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors. Sponsors include the city of Steamboat Springs and First Tracks at Wildhorse Meadows. For more information or to register, call 875-7000. Seating is limited. The individual panels are listed below:
■ May 2 — Housing our Work Force: Economic realities
Using case studies and current market data, the forum will examine what typical workers at various income levels can afford to pay for the rental or purchase of property in Steamboat and surrounding communities.
What housing is available on the supply side, and what does it cost to acquire land and build new housing in today’s Yampa Valley economy?
Will the market adapt to these needs, or will the community adapt to the market? Experts in housing, development and community demographics will discuss the economic realities of the local housing market.

■ May 30 — Maintaining Affordability: Will your kids be able to live here?
The forum will explore the relationship among the availability of housing, maintaining a sense of community (for generations to come) and workforce retention. Experts on hand will explore different models of creating affordable housing for multiple populations including shared equity housing, deed restrictions, down payment assistance, government housing programs and various funding mechanisms for building and sustaining affordable housing. The discussion will expand to include strategies local and national employers are using to ensure housing for their employees.

■ June 27 — We’re Not Alone: Learning from other communities
Other mountain communities have experienced the same escalation in housing cost issues that have reached a critical point in Steamboat the past few years.
The forum is intended to bring to town policy makers and development professionals from other communities to reflect on their successes, failures and ongoing efforts.
The panel will provide feedback on strategies currently under consideration in the Yampa Valley. Panel members will be asked to discuss the unintended consequences of past solutions that have been implemented in their communities.

■ July 25 — Show Me the Money: Funding strategies and resources
The forum will pull together financial, governmental and development professionals to discuss options and strategies for funding affordable housing projects. The presenters will seek creative input from public and private sources as well as potential collaborative (public/private) suggestions for land acquisition, deed-restricted housing, apartments and non deed-restricted housing (high-density, small square footage developments).
Barriers to the funding options will be discussed, and the public policy issues will be contrasted for the audience. Panel members also will be asked to think ahead 5 to 10 years for land acquisition and how this could be addressed.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...
WEB: www.SteamboatDream.com
E-MAIL: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net