Did you know that only 22% of the Grand County workforce actually lives in the Winter Park community? It’s no secret that Grand County as a whole is facing an employee housing crisis. Not only is the shortage great, but GC wages are no match for the high price of rent. While the towns of Winter Park and Granby are both actively working on attainable, subsidized housing, it does not solve the immediate need.

There is some good news in the interim. The Town of Winter Park, the Grand Foundation and Winter Park Resort have partnered to create the Winter Park Housing Assistance Fund. It’s a time-sensitive process with some rapidly approaching deadlines. We’ve outlined key points along with links to the fund’s page for your convenience.

High-Level Overview

Assistance may be available but not limited to full-time Winter Park residence (working 30 hours a week or 1200 hours a year) within the town or working in a job that serves Winter Park residents. Disabled residents of Winter Park, retired members of the Winter Park workforce and families of Winter Park may also qualify. Funding may include move-in costs (i.e. first or last month’s rent), and or down payment assistance for home purchases.

The next deadline to apply for WPHAF is November 15, 2019. After the deadline, all applications will be reviewed by an advisory committee that will make all funding decisions based on economic needs.

Official Grant Guidelines from the Grand Foundation Page https://www.grandfoundation.com/Grants/Winter-Park-Housing-Assistance-Fund

1. Funding for applicants will be prioritized upon economic need.

2. This Fund supports full-time residents only.

3. Funding will be considered to include but not limited to, members of the Winter Park workforce, disabled residents of Winter Park, former members of the Winter Park workforce (retired) and Winter Park families. As defined by the Town of Winter Park. An applicant is considered to be a member of the Winter Park workforce if they work 30 hours a week or 1200 hours a year in a job located within Winter Park or in a job that predominately serves the residents of Winter Park (even if the location is outside of the Town). New residents will be considered for assistance if they have employer sponsorship. If there are any questions about whether a job is qualified, please contact the Housing Coordinator for the Town of Winter Park at jcrone@wpgov.com.

4. Priorities for assistance are to be used for housing within the boundaries of the Town of Winter Park. Assistance must be used either by a member of the Winter Park workforce or for housing located within the boundaries of Winter Park. You can confirm whether you live in Winter Park by contacting the Housing Coordinator for the Town, jcrone@wpgov.com, or by viewing the parcel map found at http://fraservalleyco.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Solutions/s2.html?appid=fcb0beffd4dd457c9c4372f4e55ab300

5. Individuals should be applying for assistance in the form of rental assistance, move-in assistance (i.e. first or last month’s rent), and or down payment assistance for home purchases.

6. If applying for Down Payment Assistance, the applicant MUST work with the Grand County Housing Authority prior to submitting the application to funding. This includes but is not limited to applying for GCHA Down Payment Assistance Loan and attending First Time Homebuyer’s Class.

7. This Fund will be used specifically for housing assistance by providing applicants with direct payments to their housing providers.

8. This Donor Advised Fund of the Grand Foundation will not participate in any political campaign on behalf of any issues or candidates.

9. If an individual receives duplicate funding for a request, the Housing Assistance Fund monies awarded must be returned.

10. Distribution of funds will be made to the housing providers as the funds are needed and requested. Special circumstances may apply.

11. Requests not following the Application Requirements and Fund Guidelines will not be considered for funding. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

12. Requests for prior monies due for housing assistance will not be considered for funding (i.e. back rent).

13. An advisory committee will make funding decisions based on economic need and upon completion of committee meetings all applicants will be notified of funding decisions. Please realize that it takes several days to reach all individuals.

14. All funding decisions by the committee are to be considered final. Any changes to approved grant requests must be discussed and reviewed with the committee prior to any use of granted funds.

15. Applicants can only apply once annually.

Tracy Navarrete