Vail InDEED program has provided homes for 270 people since 2017
Program will receive another $2.5 million in funding for 2020
- 134: Units deed restricted since 2017.
- 270: Residents provided housing by the program.
- 111,000: Square footage of new deed-restricted homes.
- $9 million: Total town investment.
VAIL — The Vail InDEED deed-restriction program since 2017 has created the rough equivalent of the Timber Ridge apartments without so much as a road closure.
The program, implemented in 2017 as part of the Vail 2027 Housing Plan, essentially pays down a portion of a home’s value in exchange for restricting future use of the unit. The Vail InDEED restriction is simple: a home must be owned or occupied by people who work an annual average of 30 hours per week in Vail or Eagle County.
The value buy-down can be significant. Since the program began, the average cost per restriction is $67,300.
Since the program began, the town has spent just more than $9 million to purchase 134 restrictions.
That has provided housing for 270 full-time town residents.
In a Tuesday presentation to the Vail Town Council, Vail Housing Department Director George Ruther noted that 288 people live at the Timber Ridge Apartments.
“So for just under $9 million you have essentially built another Timber Ridge with no impacts,” Ruther said.
That funding has come from a combination of money going into the town’s housing fund, but mostly via contributions from the town’s general fund. The town for 2020 has appropriated another $2.5 million to the program.
‘We do close a lot’
Steve Lindstrom, chairman of the Vail Local Housing Authority, told council members the authority — which approves deed-restriction deals and allocates money — has closed 29 of the 74 applications received in 2019, nearly 40%.
Lindstrom said there are a number of reasons deals don’t make it to the closing table. Sometimes buyers or sellers decide to not move ahead, he said. Sometimes there are problems with getting deals financed. But, Lindstrom added, local banks and lenders have been “very helpful” in moving deals a lot.
“We do close a lot,” he added.
Whether the units are rentals or occupied by owners, all the residents of the restricted units live in the town.
The Vail 2027 Housing Plan set an ambitious goal of adding 1,000 new deed restrictions by 2027. That will take some new construction — the Solar Vail apartments were funded in part by the town’s purchase of restrictions — and buying new units.
But the program will take data in addition to cash deals.
Lindstrom said the authority is working to create a town-wide tracking program of sales and inventory. Lindstrom added that a master plan for West Vail is an opportunity for the town, developers and others to refine goals to build additional housing.
“There’s a lot to it,” Lindstrom said of the Vail 2027 plan. That includes working with developers and working with policymakers on land use regulations.
Education is important, too, Lindstrom said, “so the community understands the value” of the program.
On a personal level, the program is having an effect on people now living in town who otherwise might not.
“I know three people who have purchased (homes) using InDEED,” Councilwoman Jen Mason said. “They’re all so excited to be able to live in Vail.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-748-2930.
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