Private housing solutions taking root

Developers offer alternatives to providing affordable stock
Developer and contractor John Stock said he wants to develop a portion of the Van Tuyl subdivision into smaller homes which remain affordable without an appreciation cap. Free-market townhomes Stock has built are seen in the distance.
Developer and contractor John Stock said he wants to develop a portion of the Van Tuyl subdivision into smaller homes which remain affordable without an appreciation cap. Free-market townhomes Stock has built are seen in the distance.

As an affordable housing crunch persists throughout the Gunnison Valley, new ideas are coming from the private sector for addressing the issue.

Two local contractors, with different approaches to development, are offering suggestions — and actual proposals — about how private developers can construct affordable homes without restrictive appreciation caps. Such caps are common within deed restrictions that seek to ensure housing remains affordable over time.

Both Dusty Sylvanson and John Stock opine that these caps — a specific condition typically found in a deed restriction — keep residents from gaining value in their home offered by free market appreciation, locking them into deedrestricted units in perpetuity. They would like to change that.

Yet, despite their best efforts, impediments to free-market solutions remain. Financing such projects can appear risky to banks, and unless private money is fronted, public subsidy — such as land or infrastructure — is needed to get them off the ground.

A widely cited 2016 housing needs assessment indicates that no one solution will solve the Gunnison Valley’s affordable housing dilemma. Further, it suggests that private developers should be encouraged in their efforts through reduction in regulatory barriers, the development of accessory dwelling units and should be offered incentives.

 

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