Date: December 11 – 15, 2006
Location: Eagle County, CO
Sponsor: City of Eagle County
Chair: Tony M. Salazar
Subject Area: Regional Growth and Planning, Workforce and Affordable Housing
Summary of Recommendations:
Eagle County asked the panel to consider how its community can house and sustain a solid middle-class workforce given the lack of developable land and rising cost of housing. The panel concluded that immediately was the time to act, and that the action had to be coordinated across the boundaries of the towns and county. The solution to this challenge was to be found in regional cooperation, creation of a regional vision, and a regional organization that promoted and developed affordable housing.
The creation of the Eagle County Housing Coalition (ECHC) would bring together all the entities (public and private) that affected the development of housing in the county. The mission of the organization would be to plan, finance, and produce housing projects and programs targeting employees working within Eagle County and to work with local governments on comprehensive housing planning. ECHC would need an organizational structure that reflected its important goals, and the executive director and staff would need to possess critical skills and experience in providing professional leadership in producing housing. There were already some successful financing tools available in Eagle County (63-20 Corporations, Bond Financing, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits) and it would be the job of the ECHC to spread the word about what programs were working where. It had to also be a goal of Eagle County to provide not only affordable housing, but attractive housing as well. Affordable housing should be located near transit and amenities, and should fit into the theme or architecture of the surrounding neighborhoods. Through cooperation and communication the communities of Eagle County could solve their affordable housing problems together.