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100K on Employee Housing – When Tiny Homes Attack

ResortsTurntoAlternativeHousingforEmployeesWrongChoicecreditTheGazette2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews
Are $100k “tiny homes” really an affordable solution for employees in one of the most expensive markets in the country? Credit: The Gazette.

In many parts of Colorado, housing is expensive. When it comes to ski resorts like Aspen Snowmass, it can be downright unaffordable.

According to the Gazette, the ski resort is working to solve that problem in one of the most expensive communities in the nation, by utilizing “tiny homes” that employees can rent. Their experiment began last winter, when resort owner Aspen Skiing Co. installed six, 500-square-foot manufactured homes at a company-owned campground last winter.

Company officials say that the plan worked out so well, that they’ve ordered another 34 homes.

Aspen Skiing Co. originally purchased the campground in 2008 to help supply employee housing, and long term tenants currently pay $750 per month to stay there.

That is, until September 1st. The company informed residents earlier this month that they would need to vacate.

Having to leave the campground will likely disrupt your life in a significant way. We sincerely regret this,” the company wrote in a letter to residents.

Unfortunately, Aspen Skiing Co.’s housing needs, combined with the valley-wide employee-housing crisis, demand this course of action.”

ResortsTurntoAlternativeHousingforEmployeesWrongChoicecreditTheGazette3-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews
Credit: The Gazette.

The company says that it originally gave long-term residents notice in September 2015 that they would need to move by the following May, but a change of plans to convert the campground to an RV Park stopped the effort. Now, it’s in full swing, with incentives.

Residents who leave by June 30th are set to receive a $3,000 incentive, while those who leave by the end of July will receive $2,000. For those who choose to stay until the end of August, they will receive only $1,000.

The sooner a space is vacant, the sooner we can do site-specific work to prepare for the arrival of more trailer coaches,” the company’s letter said.

Aspen Skiing Co. says that it is buying the tiny homes from a manufacturer for $100,000 apiece.

 

When Reality Rears Its Ugly Head

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While “tiny homes” may be all the rage, more and more people are finding that the real value is in a tried and true model.

Unlike tiny homes, which are still struggling with state and local regulations, buyers of manufactured homes generally avoid building code and zoning issues. In Washington State, a law passed in 2005 prevents cities from discriminating against manufactured homes, which has helped to break stereotypes.

Manufactured homes are built to a national code that ensures homes meet basic structural, safety and energy standards,” said Craig Sedlacek, the program manager for the Factory Assembled Structures program at the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. The organization conducts building inspections for manufactured homes.

There’s no real definition for a tiny home. It might be built to a local code, a recreational vehicle (RV) code or no code at all. It’s important for buyers to understand what standards a home is built to before they buy it.”

For more on the progress in Washington State, click here.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews have covered the “tiny home” movement extensively, including the potential for big legal trouble for owners and a detailed side-by-side comparison with manufactured homes, highlighting function and value versus fashion. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

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