Breckenridge’s Buy-Down program already at half of its 2022 goal |

Breckenridge’s Buy-Down program already at half of its 2022 goal

The Gold Camp housing complex in Breckenridge Wednesday, June 23. Gold Camp is one of the housing complexes the town of Breckenridge has the first right of refusal in, meaning the town can match any offers made on the property to acquire the unit.
Photo by Michael Yearout

The town of Breckenridge’s Buy-Down Program has reached half of its 2022 goal, meaning that the town has bought at least a dozen homes to sell back to the local workforce.

Corrie Burr, the housing program manager for the town, said via email Thursday that as of April 28, 13 properties were purchased to sell back to community members. She added that the team’s relationships with local real estate agents has helped in reaching this portion of 2022’s goal.

In Breckenridge’s Buy-Down Program, housing officials purchase homes for sale, place a local workforce restriction on the property and sell the home at a reduced price. This year, the goal was 24 homes — more than double what was bought last year. Under Housing Helps, another program offered by the town, the Town pays owners, buyers, sellers — including local businesses and investors — to accept a deed restriction on homes that are currently unrestricted. Burr told the Town Council on Tuesday that Housing Helps has had a slower start to 2022.

“We have a couple of new applications that we’re working through, connecting with some people that just are on the fence, but it’s strange. When Buy-Downs go up, Housing Helps goes down,” she told the Town Council. “They seem to shift back and forth, which is good for us. But you know, we’d like to see both of those programs higher, but we all know the prices of properties right now are really high.”

Because of the housing market, the average cost for a buy down has increased 154% from 2019 to 2021. According to an update to the Town Council,

“We need to keep buying what becomes available and is accepted (and) continue to focus on locations that have predominantly been locals (Gold Camp, Val d’Isere, Ptarmigan, Edelweiss, etc),” the update reads. “The Committee understands we need to continue to buy properties, take a bigger hit and get it into an affordable range with an appreciation cap — not focusing on size or number of bedrooms, just where locals can live.”

Earlier this year, Breckenridge Town Council gave its approval of the Five-Year Housing Blueprint, which will invest $50 million over the next five years for workforce housing — including programs like Housing Helps and Buy Downs. This is estimated to bring in over 900 units, and among those projects is Alta Verde II, which is an extension of Alta Verde, an affordable housing project.

Town Council approved an increase of the project’s long-term loan by $1.27 million to help with sustainable energy improvements from Alta Verde I. Kimball Crangle, the Colorado Market President for developer Gorman and Company, said Alta Verde is successfully designed to be net zero, but with improvements during Phase 2’s development, the goal is to minimize energy consumption before having to offset it. Specifically, most of this will go toward photovoltaic panels — or panels that convert thermal energy into electricity — onto Alta Verde II’s buildings, which will be twice the size of Alta Verde I’s solar farm.

“I think we’re all getting smarter about climate change and realizing that one of the big goals is not just to offset what we use, but to actually reduce what we’re using in the first place to reduce the demand on the system, which just has all sorts of other benefits,” Crangle said.

Crangle said tenants as a whole will pay about $140,000 less on electricity in total because demand is so reduced, and over 10 years, savings will be $1.4 million and over 20 years, it’s $2.8 million. Groundbreaking for Alta Verde II could be any time in July or August.

“We’re really setting a bar here, and I do believe in what we’re doing,” Crangle said. “It’s just It comes with a price tag.”