Frisco candidate Q&A: How would you work to address the shortage of affordable housing in town? – Summit Daily

When looking at the workforce housing shortage, I’d say there are many pieces of the issue that will take conversation, compromise and a shared long-term vision for how our community can move forward in the midst of a shortage of affordable housing, especially affordable rentals.

A study on the impact of short-term rentals would provide the insight needed to move forward with a plan that is sustainable for our community. In trying to come up with solutions for the lack of rentals, I’d consider a six to 12 month moratorium on accepting and processing applications and issuing licenses for nonprimary residence short-term rentals in Frisco during an impact study on short-term rentals in our community. The idea is to observe a period of time when obtaining a short-term rental license is impossible and see if that deters some real estate buyers who are interested only in the commodity aspect of owning a home in Frisco. The moratorium wouldn’t impact those currently holding short-term rental licenses, but hopefully it could offer enough time and information to see what types of taxes, licenses or other programs are needed in order to regain some balance to the housing stock in our community.

— Elizabeth Skrzypczak-Adrian

We must pursue multiple approaches to making meaningful progress:

  • Partnerships with surrounding governmental entities. Together we can have a greater impact. Lake Hill, Granite and Galena workforce housing developments are all excellent examples of partnerships between the town of Frisco, Summit County and state of Colorado.
  • Explore creative arrangements like The Alpine Inn being rented in its entirety by Summit County to provide affordable workforce housing. Frisco can financially incentivize our businesses to invest in workforce housing for their employees.
  • Collaboration with property management firms and short-term rental licensees to encourage mutual win-win arrangements. For example, council member Dan Fallon’s idea of incentivizing short-term licensees to offer a mixture of short-term rentals and long-term rentals in a given year. An example: short-term rent during the winter and long-term rent during the summer or vice versa.

In addition to workforce housing, we need to explore affordable senior living housing. We grew up in Frisco or moved to this great place. We should not force our seniors to relocate to Denver or out of state simply because they need extra support. It is a shame that we don’t have senior living options in the town of Frisco or even Summit County.

— David Rolling

I look forward to working with the council on all the options available. One recommended idea is to create more available land for development through the acquisition of the federally controlled lands in the area. Frisco can be a leading example of how to build affordable housing in sensitive areas with very little environmental impact at a low cost. Another solution worth investigating would be low-cost, attractive tiny home parks, which in the long run promote community.

— John Hammett

I would continue to push the Sixth and Granite, Sixth and Galena, and Lake Hill projects for the long term, and offer feasible subsidies to homeowners who are willing to offer affordable housing for the short term.

— Joe “Buck” Phillips

Affordable housing solutions are going to be policy driven. We need to allow people to participate in the process of creating policy by bringing specific proposals to voters. Voting will offer our community an objective metric for the majority consensus will of the people. There are no seven individuals whose collective thought can compete with a combined consciousness of 3,000 residents.

A second-home owner who does not reside in Frisco offered a good idea. He proposed different classifications for homes based on the total number of homes in an owner’s portfolio. Someone who owns two homes would be regulated differently than someone who owns four or five. This is just one idea I heard while circulating the Frisco housing petition. There are a lot of opinions on how to proceed forward with regulating housing and creating affordable solutions. We need to let the people decide what they think is best for the community by voting on specific legislation.

— James Hayes Walsh

This is of course the main priority for all of Summit County right now and cannot be answered easily or without access to a lot more information than we candidates have at the moment.

I do favor the excise tax on short-term rentals, as I believe that those homeowners are making the decision to short-term rather than long-term rent for financial reasons. Their decision to do that, however, is helping to cause the shortage of affordable housing and is also driving up the cost of homes here, making it nearly impossible for workers in our town to be able to afford to buy a home. This is not the full solution, however.

The town also needs to commit to more incentives for homeowners to rent long term and to get the information on those incentives out to homeowners more effectively.

— Lisa Holenko

We are actively working on several ways to address affordable and workforce housing, including, but not limited to: buy downs, long-term leasing subsidies, building affordable housing, rental assistance, procuring an agreement with the Summit Inn to provide long-term rentals over short term, and we created a program to subsidize homeowners who choose to rent long term.

I am in favor of Lake Hill as an affordable neighborhood in our very land-locked town. I am open to many possibilities, including a countywide permit program called Unsheltered in Summit to support those who live in their vehicles. But this is a very complex issue as inflation, short-term rentals and the fact that we are in paradise one hour away from one of the fastest-growing cities in the country has completely priced out the average homeowner.

COVID exacerbated the situation when the more affluent, remote-working demographic decided they could and should leave their offices and live in the mountains. I think if we can put some families in homes, then we have done something. How many is enough to address the real issue?

— Andy Held

Three seats are up for election on Frisco Town Council. Read more candidate Q&As at