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Addressing lack of affordable housing in the Vail Valley

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November 29, 2021, 11:35 am
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At a price of over $30 million, a contemporary luxury home has recently become the highest priced property to sell in the Vail Valley area this year. Property sales have seen an increase of over 25% during the quarter ending in September, but the demand for luxury properties and second homes is pushing house prices out of the range of the local workforce. While businesses are finally seeing increased interest from tourists, they are finding it difficult to attract staff due to a lack of affordable housing. At the same time, teachers and other essential workers are questioning whether they are able to remain living in the area. With high house prices and living costs being the top current concerns for residents in Colorado, local communities are now looking for solutions. 

Making Home Buying More Affordable

After an already difficult school year, committed Eagle County teachers are finding themselves forced to choose between a job they love and remaining in their hometown. With a mismatch between salaries and living costs in the area, low pay is one of the main reasons that two fifths of the members of the Colorado Educator Association are leaving the profession this year. While some educators may be looking for alternative employment in order to be able to afford a home in the region, others could benefit from specific mortgage help for teachers. Extra incentives recognize their hard work, while guidance on assistance programs and other available options can help them to secure the best mortgage for their circumstances. 

Introducing Measures to Increase Housing Availability

As affordable housing in mountain resorts is becoming harder to find, local towns and communities are taking to the ballot box and voting on measures to improve the availability and affordability of properties in the area. An abundance of short-term rentals can leave local residents unable to afford permanent housing in an area so cities are looking at restricting their use or, in some areas, phasing them out altogether.  In Vail, the implementation of a sales tax would be put towards new housing initiatives, while in other areas, a tax on tourists is favored even by small-business owners who, although they are reliant on vacationers, are struggling to hire and retain staff.  
While luxury homes and vacation properties are selling fast, a shortage of affordable housing in Vail Valley is becoming a problem. A range of measures could help to create new housing initiatives that would allow local workers and residents to settle in the area.

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