Summit struggles to fund affordable housing efforts

The Summit Housing Authority (SHA) board of directors decided this week to pursue placing an initiative on November’s ballot in order to fund a countywide multi-jurisdictional housing authority, despite less than encouraging results from a survey of county residents on a potential tax question.

The move is spurred, in part, by the expiration at the end of this year of the of the existing intergovernmental agreement between the towns, the county and the ski resorts that funds the the authority. Even without the expiration of the IGA, SHA needs more money to tackle the formidable task of finding the 3,000 additional units of affordable housing, which a recent needs assessment predicted Summit County will require by 2010.

Funding for a countywide affordable housing entity could be obtained from tax sources, if approved by voters. Possibilities for financial support for a housing agency include impact fees, sales taxes, property taxes or some combination of the three.

A recent survey asked respondents about their support for possible tax combinations that could provide the housing authority with anywhere between $1.3 million and $5 million per year. The combination of a new sales tax and impact fees – fees assessed on new construction based on square footage – was the most popular scenario among respondents, but garnered support from only 47 percent of those surveyed.

SHA last went to county voters in 2002 to request a sales tax which would have raised about $400,000 a year for affordable housing, but the measure was defeated bt a seven-to-six margin.
Read the full article in the Summit Daily . . .

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