Summit County residents trying to survive major housing crisis

County Commissioners concerned for the future
Posted at 10:42 AM, Sep 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-25 12:42:00-04

DILLON, Colo. -- Those living in some of the most picturesque parts of Colorado are now struggling through a housing crisis.

A new housing report spells bad news for those in Summit County.

Just ask Sara Vaine and her husband Mark, who've lived in Dillon for over 20 years.

The Vaine’s have seen new families come to town and not have any time to enjoy the great outdoors because they’re too busy trying to make ends meet.

"Families move here and they work two or three jobs and they don't even have time for recreation," said Vaine.

Those who work with low-income families said working families are being hit the hardest.

“On the rental side, there's about 100 percent to 220 percent increase and I really doubt the workers got a wage increase of that amount,” said Gaston Feuereisen, with the Family and Intercultural Resource Center.

Newly released housing numbers show housing costs skyrocketing anywhere from 20 to 40 percent in Summit County.

Real estate agents said two lower-end employee housing complexes have jumped 40 percent in two years alone.

“You're basically paying about 80 percent of your income if you're a single individual and not to mention that if you have kids,” said Feuereisen.

The higher housing costs, paired with healthcare and child care, has many families simply doing without healthcare coverage.

“That then puts pressure on all of the human services. You know, the food banks and the social services and all of those nonprofits who support people who don't make a sustainable wage, and it's just got kind of a ripple effect,” said Vaine. “I think people look at the wealth and the beautiful houses and the ski resorts and they don't realize what it takes to keep those going, it's the families here."


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