Estes Valley Long-Term Recovery Group
As the summer tourism season approaches, a new set of worries is hitting flood survivors. Many survivors, whose houses and dwellings were damaged, have been living in temporary housing and seasonal rentals. These people are about to reach the end of their rental leases and need to move into other housing. Many of the lodging business, that have accommodated the community’s local residents, are now asking the flood victims to leave, or ending their leases, so the business’ can “gear up” for the higher- paying tourists.
Ponderosa Realty points out that for the two years prior to the flood, their occupancy rate of long term rentals was 97 to 98%. Currently their long-term rentals are 100% occupied. When the flood hit, the seasonal/vacation and short-term rental occupancy rates dropped dramatically to only 5%, which was why flood survivors were able to find housing for the past six months.
With the onset of the summer tourism season, the seasonal rentals are now being closed. This means flood survivors are going to need to move out of temporary housing into a zero-vacancy, long-term rental market and a very expensive short-term rental market.
The Estes Valley Long Term Recovery Case Manager indicates they have seen a small influx of folks who are in this situation. No one is sure the exact numbers of displaced people who will be affected. However, there is a concern that the survivors who are impacted may be in a lower income bracket and therefore more negatively impacted by higher summer rental rates.
Compounding the problem is the coming influx of summer/seasonal workers. The general estimates for the number of seasonal workers are 35 to 50% of workers in Estes, according to property management companies. Anderson Realty reports they are receiving 2-5 calls per day, from people who have summer jobs, need short-term rentals for the summer, but for whom little to no housing is available.
With the local rental occupancy rate at nearly 100%, the situation is leaving few places for survivors to rent while their flood-damaged homes are being repaired or replaced. The situation also applies to out-of-state property owners coming in to repair their family cabins and seasonal homes.
The Estes Valley Long-Term Recovery group is making an appeal to both in-state and out of state homeowners that usually rent their 2nd homes for vacation rentals, as well as local rental owners to consider continuing helping out the residents by renting to flood victims, at a considerate rate.