Nearly 42 percent of the households in San Miguel County (1,450 households) and 39 percent in Ouray County (789 households) report that their income has decreased since 2007-2008, according to the study produced by RRC Consulting and Rees Associates and administered by the San Miguel Regional Housing Authority on behalf of San Miguel County.
The study also found that since 2007, Ouray County lost 573 jobs, which equated to a decrease of 20 percent. San Miguel County lost 1,155 jobs, a decrease of 15.5 percent.
The study was conducted to enable planning of affordable housing in the region and to update assessments of the number and type of housing options needed in the region. The study also sought to define the impacts of the commuter population on the communities in the region.
The study includes the results from surveys of 1,190 households, 123 additional employees who commute to work and 88 employers representing over 3,000 employees. It also contains results from 35 interviews of key informants including property managers, realtors, lenders and transit providers.
Approximately 450 employees travel into Ouray County from homes outside of the county and 745 employees commute into San Miguel County; however, the majority of commuters do not want to move.
Among other findings contained in the report:
*The rate of residential growth between 2000 and 2010 was much higher in Ouray County (44 percent) than in San Miguel County (28 percent).
*There are 1,122 housing units that are deed- or occupancy-restricted in San Miguel County, representing 34.4 percent of total occupied units in the county.
*Home sales dropped 62 percent overall from their peak in 2007/08 to their low in 2009. The market rebounded somewhat in 2010 with the number of sales increasing 36 percent overall in the two-county region, with growth being the strongest in San Miguel County.
*A majority of residents in both counties feel that the problem of finding affordable housing for persons who work in the region is either the most critical or one of the more serious problems facing the area.
The meetings scheduled for next Wednesday, Sept. 14, in Telluride at the Wilkinson Public Library from 1:30 to 3 p.m., and on Thursday, Sept 15 in Ridgway at the Ridgway Town Hall from 10:30 a.m. to noon will be the only opportunity for members of the public to hear directly from the consultants who produced the report.
The full report will be published online at www.smrha.org on Monday.