Roundtable 1: Workforce Housing


Brainstorming on priority issues the group wishes to cover

·        Workforce housing and affordable housing spectrum… diff. income levels

·        How make more effective… so out of reach

·        How other communities framing strategies to move policy

·        Employer driven workforce solutions

·        Suggestions around semantics and ways to convey

·        Incentive programs / alternative funding/ private partners

·        Want others stories – ideas of larger communities who are further ahead

·        Staff housing in 1 season communities (more rural communities)

·        Affordability through design – how to incentives

·        How to regulate rental housing

·        Short-term housing – man camps

·        Partnerships/Housing authorities



1.          Incentive programs / alternative funding/ private partners (all wanted)

·        What works

o   Fee elimination for all affordable housing (deed restricted etc.)… reason was no new houses. If reduce fees to nothing (Telluride). Have what need but looking to forward

o   Affordable housing in all districts

o   Find private sector where can put some money to incentivize housing where reduce fee and densification no longer work

o   Know the developers and individualize the incentives that will work for the developers… find out what will move the needle

o   Giving developers free land incentivizes developers in one community

o   Extra height/floor area ratio goes up the quid pro quo = additional affordable housing… either as right or discretionary (prefer Telluride the latter as sometimes incentives don’t work)

o   Transit-oriented design integrated into development process (Aspen)

o   Regional housing study (Tahoe)… house exist and projections …. Projects needs of workforce housing… peaked interest of developers to fill that need. This was done through a mountain housing council that came together to address this issue

§  Helps to address perceptions to a clear needs assessment

o   In the US will market available stock for housing, brown-fill, EPA remediation and get to developers  (called Main Street programs);


·        Challenges

o   Reduced fee and densification doesn’t make more money,

o   Incentives backfire: Alternate development standards (e.g. Less parking)… problem is that multi-roommates = higher parking needs.  Key would be close to transfer zone

o   Fees in one high income/expensive communities might not be affective.


2) How other communities framing strategies to move policy

·        Ideas

o   Suite of policies and suite of language (appeal to emotional component) and rationale (rltn between business

§  (Grand County, UT); challenge is that language and appeal specific to different parts of community

·        Generational – want housing for kids

·        Businesses want employers/profit

·        Social minded – social cohesion

o   Ski area, local gov’t, and local funds pooled together –

§  Housing for workers and general public Keystone/Vail

o   Increasing density for affordable housing = just reviewing project and not tying it up with exceptions

o   Where no land, can change r1 to r3 like in Nelson… problem is that more units and still prices going up.


·        Challenge

o   Hard for people to disassociate housing from other growth and issues in the community

o   Diversity of types of affordable housing doesn’t get discussed or understood.  Always think of apartments. Needs by someone in 20s maybe apartment fine; townhouses/duplexes = option for families




Varied definitions and defns can stop community will (employee housing could make communities think that employers should provide e.g. subsidizing the bigger employer)

Affordable housing mid level and/or looser regs.  

Employee housing- lose job, lose house