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Attainable housing a top priority for Fraser in 2016

Fraser Housing Statistics

Locals occupy only 49 percent of homes in Fraser

Local home occupancy declined over 15 percentage points between 2000 and 2010

“Locals want to live in Fraser:” 40 percent of long-term workforce in Fraser Valley resides in Fraser area

Over one half of Fraser’s employed residents commute to jobs in other parts of the county

Vacancy rates have been “near zero” the past two winters due to rising rents, increase of year round leases

The town of Fraser presented their affordable housing needs and development study at their Wednesday, May 18 meeting. The purpose of the study was to define what attainable housing is in Fraser, understand how much housing is needed to keep up with job growth, and determine how town resources could assist development of the housing.

Research was conducted through a series of interviews with local employers, realtors, developers, town staff, and service providers to better understand the housing market and demand for units. Also included were outside sources such as the US Census, Colorado development of Local Affairs and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Studies conducted in fall of 2015 included the Grand Profile, the Fraser Valley Economic Development Plan and survey, and the Town of Winter Park Housing needs Assessment. Other mountain communities were interviewed including the towns of Breckenridge, Estes Park, Frisco, and Jackson, WY to understand the cost of their development projects, existing attainable housing code provisions, and funding sources.

The study showed that Fraser is a central location for popular resort destinations, which is no surprise, but can be a problem during peak employment seasons when many people are searching for housing at the same time. A unique problem Fraser has, compared to other mountain towns, is the competition between locals and Front Range buyers, who tend to be more “cost conscious” than second-home buyers from out of state. In most mountain towns, the study suggests, second homeowners tend to focus on higher priced units. This leaves the workforce in the Fraser Valley competing with buyers or renters who may want a second home to avoid I-70 traffic, but are not necessarily looking to buy a high priced home.

This study is a starting point for the crucial need of attainable housing in Fraser.


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