Rising prices in the city and county are due to an increase in in-commuters from La Plata County and the “zoom town” phenomenon.
The housing authority in Montezuma county has an average of 45 people added to the wait list each month, around half of them indicate being homeless.
Fair Market Rents (FMRs) in the county have not kept up with the increases in the rental market, making finding a rental unit even harder in the tight market. Dolores County. There are very few housing options for workforce in the county—no apartment complexes, limited attached housing. Housing supply is largely comprised of single family homes and mobile homes.
Second homeowners have crowded out workers, and there are no alternative housing types for workforce. This includes local government workers.
Housing has become a top need for low income residents; calls from residents seeking services are almost always related to housing insecurity. Housing choice vouchers/Section 8 is less effective due to the lack of housing supply.
A couple of small apartment complexes targeting families, workforce, in addition to expansion of home health care for seniors, would go a long way to addressing critical needs. The county needs both publicly-subsidized housing and market rate housing.
The county is in a “Catch 22” situation, with economic growth dependent on workforce, workforce dependent on adequate housing, and adequate housing dependent on economic growth.