Lessons and action to tackle housing in Summit County

Here are the lessons learned from the defunded Lease to Locals experiment.

Summit County is trying to learn from its recently defunded Lease to Locals program, where the county paid property owners to rent long-term instead of short-term. 

“This led us to soul searching and identifying the risks and the opportunities and what a program could or couldn’t look like,” says Colin Frolich with housing contractor Placemate. “Would it really meet the needs that we hoped it would?” 

The first lesson learned: Most small businesses do not want to be landlords. 

“It’s somewhat complex, right?” Emily Vitas with Placemate says. “When you look at all of the documents that are created and who’s participating and the employer as landlord, it’s a somewhat complex model.” 

The second lesson: Master Leasing does work with larger companies, but Summit has to mode it after Winter Park. 

“Potentially bring this to the (Summit) Combined Housing Authority, let there be multi-jurisdictional participation out of the gates,” Frolich says. “Then, have them look to build a relationship with a strong property manager.” 

Summit County commissioners asked for more info on the Winter Park program. They did not give direction to the Summit Combined Housing Authority. 

The SCHA has a new office in Frisco and new director, Corrie Burr with the town of Breckenridge housing department, but the authority has little direction beyond acting as a gatekeeper for deed-restricted housing. 

Frisco pens a housing plan.

Frisco is the latest local town writing a strategic housing plan.  That plan got started last month with local experts and stakeholders, looking at needs, challenges and resources.  

Starting this month, Frisco reviews what it takes to meet those needs and how close the town is to buildout.  A final plan is ready by September.