Over a month later, Summit County and Breckenridge’s Lease to Locals program accommodates 32 people

Park Place Plaza on Four O’Clock Road in Breckenridge is pictured on Sunday September 5. Short-term rentals in Breckenridge and unincorporated Summit County are eligible to participate in the Lease to Locals program, which converts rental housing into housing for the local workforce.
Liz Copan / For the Daily News Summit

When Summit County embarked on creating a pilot program that would convert short-term rental housing into long-term workforce housing, it was primarily to stop the bleeding in the hope that dwellings otherwise inaccessible to residents would suddenly open. The program, a partnership between Summit County and Breckenridge dubbed Lease to premises, officially launched on October 15.

The program is divided into two phases. The first was to last until December 15 or until the program gets 15 units, whichever comes first. This phase offers the highest amount of incentives, mainly because the county strives to convert units as quickly as possible before the start of the ski season.

“This was an emergency pilot program to try to free housing from the short-term rental market that currently did not exist,” said Jason Dietz, director of Summit County housing.

Dietz confirmed that 16 units have been converted, which currently house 27 employees and their families, for a total of 32 people. Seven of these units are located in the unincorporated county of Summit and nine are located in Breckenridge. Dietz said he hopes to have five more converts and added to the pool before the end of the month.

Rent per employee is on average $ 1,030 per month. About 75% of leases are for 12 months.

While any amount of converted rooms is a win for the program and helps provide units for a workforce struggling to find stable and affordable housing, Dietz said he had hoped that the start of the program would have resulted in more conversions.

“I had very high aspirations for the program and maybe hoped to do more, but realizing how late we started in the season, we had a lot against us,” he said. declared.

For starters, the program kicked off right before the ski and vacation season, meaning many short-term rental units likely already had reservations on the books. Additionally, Dietz said he expected the majority of converted units to work with a property management company, when in reality that only applied to around 37% of units.

As for how much the county spent on the program, Dietz confirmed that he paid about $ 7,000 in incentives per room on average. According to a previous presentation on the project, the incentive starts at $ 7,000 for a one-year studio lease and goes up to $ 20,000 for a unit with three or more bedrooms. The county paid out about $ 210,000 in total incentives.

While that may sound like a lot, Dietz compared the numbers to other housing projects. The county is spending approximately $ 9,000 to $ 10,000 per room on its head lease with Alpine Inn in Frisco. For his housing assistance program, he typically spends around $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 per room. The cost of building a rental room is generally between $ 250,000 and $ 300,000 per room, not including the cost of land and certain other expenses.

It was these incentives that made the program interesting for Denver resident Scott Bilyeu, who purchased his two-bedroom, one-bath condo in Breckenridge in June. Bilyeu bought his condo with the intention of renting it short term for passive income. He expected to generate around $ 40,000 in gross income, but when he heard about the county’s incentives, he said it made more sense, especially since it gave him stability for both. him and for the inhabitants.

“I knew I had moved long-term tenants and people who wanted to rent my place for the year, the same was happening to them,” Bilyeu said. “They were getting kicked out of their unit and were a little desperate. Providing stability for them was good for me and stability for me – it was just kind of a win-win. “

Bilyeu said the process of finding his tenants was easy and that he generated a lot of interest with a simple Facebook post. In the end, he and his two tenants agreed to a $ 2,500 per month split between the two of them. They moved on November 1.

In general, Bilyeu said he is happy with the program so far and is curious about what will happen in the future once this lease ends. For now, he’s said he’s happy to be part of the small group helping to house some of the workforce.

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