Denver, Colorado 2021-09-23 15:27:02 –
From Frisco, Colorado-Denver, drive along I-70 towards the mountains. Pass by the small town of Frisco before arriving at many of Colorado’s famous ski resorts. Today, over 3,100 people call the town their hometown.
But like many other mountain communities, the town is facing a housing crisis. The problem was so serious that the Frisco city council even considered declaring a housing emergency.
“Housing emergencies are still something we are working on. We haven’t officially declared it because it’s known at this time. It’s not news, we struggle with something that was already there. It wasn’t necessary, “said Frisco Mayor Hunter Mortensen.
The COVID pandemic only exacerbated the problem as people could start working in remote areas and chose to move away from the city to the mountain community.
“It was a big change in the size of people who can work from anywhere they are working from here,” Mortensen said. “At that time, real estate sales soared, prices soared, and now more and more people live here full-time.”
Median home prices in the region are currently around $ 1 million. According to Mortensen, some people are buying just to destroy expensive homes and build larger ones.
The rise of short-term rentals like VRBO and Airbnb hasn’t helped the problem. Like other mountain communities, these platforms offer more homes and condominiums to visitors than ever before.
Frisco makes an average of about 10 new short-term rental license requests each week. This trend is so popular that the town is creating new full-time positions for short-term rental managers.
Restaurant workers and ski resort employees aren’t the only ones struggling to find a home. Doctors, lawyers, healthcare professionals, and other high-paying employees also struggle to find a place to live.
“We are at a moment beyond our own means of tackling serious and serious problems for our community,” Mortensen said.
Mortensen is a professional ski patroler from Frisco. He says he has been very focused on housing shortages for years, the problem is so serious that the town council puts it on every agenda to move forward until he feels he can address the problem.
While the town council was scrutinizing the housing crisis, a Frisco resident began a petition to limit short-term rentals in the town.
James Hayes Walsh is usually not involved in the politics of the town. He has a mullet, rides a bike in the summer and is most likely ready to take a Frisbee for his dog.
Walsh decided to start his petition when he noticed that the composition of his neighborhood had changed.
“Short-term rentals of single-family homes in particular are degrading quality of life and the culture of the neighborhood,” Walsh said. “We protect our communities and our resources, the people who live here, by prioritizing single-family homes.”
The petition prohibits the use of a single-family home as a short-term rental property unless it is the owner’s primary residence.
The ban does not apply to condos and town homes, he claims that it provides ample room for families who want to rent their home.
“It would be great if someone lives in a house and subsidizes their mortgage by renting for a short term. There is a guesthouse where they live and they have Airbnb outside the house. Great if they have. It would be great if they could split it into multiple levels and you could live in one level and Airbnb could live in the other. They lived at home for 6 months and a day. And it would be great to rent it out for the rest of the year, “Walsh said.
However, Walsh said he found that more real estate groups were scooping up their homes with better purchasing power and renting them out to tourists.
Instead, he wants to see families living and working in the community given the option to buy or rent a home by moving to a long-term rent.
The short-term rental ban is not a completely new idea. Telluride, Steamboat Springs, Buena Vista And other mountain communities are considering further restrictions on these types of rentals, Crested Butte Issued a one-year suspension of all vacation rental permits.
Also in cities like Denver Imposed restrictions on short-term rentals The house must be the owner’s primary residence.
However, some rental companies claim that this is the wrong solution and can hurt the town’s overall economy.
“Short-term rentals are not the cause of housing problems, they are really a by-product of deeper supply and demand economic problems,” said Mary Waldman, owner of Summit Mountain rentals. “Prohibiting short-term rentals does not mean creating longer-term homes.”
Summit Mountain Rentals is a real estate management company that oversees more than 250 real estate properties in Brickenridge and Frisco.
She doesn’t like the idea that the government tells people what they can and cannot do with their property.
For one thing, Waldman says that almost all of her clients aren’t profiting from short-term rentals, they’re just using it to cover some of their mortgage and HOA costs. ..
Many also say that they will stay at home for a few weeks a year, and changing to a long-term rent will remove that option.
She also believes that demanding the conversion of homes to long-term homes will make them more affordable, as owners will have to charge more to make the same amount. not.
“If you buy a $ 4,000, $ 5,000, or $ 6,000 long-term home a month in a two-bedroom or three-bedroom home, it’s not affordable. So mathematics simply doesn’t work.” Waldman said.
Beyond that, Waldman argues that short-term rentals are helping the region’s overall economy, as the town is run by tourism dollars.
She believes that if the rental property is taken away, tourists will not visit it very often and the town will not need more employee housing.
“We will be a sleepy city with day trippers from Denver. I believe these businesses will suffer and affordable housing for workers will not be a problem because of low demand and low demand. Because there are many homes available, “she said.
Walsh disagrees and says he won’t buy the argument that adding more guardrails around these rentals will hurt the town.
Frisco is in the process of hiring a full-time short-term rental manager to scrutinize the issue to help the town council understand the impact of these units on the area.
Mortensen hopes to get a better understanding of how many homes aren’t used as primary homes and how often they are used by their owners in the coming months.
He believes these rentals may cost more or require more restrictions on licenses.
“I think we need something to deal with, and definitely the scope is a big issue and what it looks like,” he said.
He hasn’t taken a stance on the petition, but it’s certain that people throughout Frisco have come to pay more attention to the housing crisis, which helps bring new ideas and solutions to the table. maybe.
Perhaps ironically, Walsh himself works as a maintenance man at a short-term rental company. He knows that his petitions can affect his work, but he says trying to help the community is worth the risk.
“I can’t afford to live here, so I see people leaving. I see the town trending towards this identity of being a resort vacation town,” he said. Told. “I’m fighting to maintain these relationships.”
He doesn’t believe this petition is perfect, nor is it a silver bullet for community housing issues.
Still, he continues to collect signatures, hoping to spur conversations about how Frisco should tackle the housing problem.
Frisco man starts petition to ban some short-term rentals Source link Frisco man starts petition to ban some short-term rentals