Routt GOP: Making progress on housing crisis requires good policy

Routt GOP: Making progress on housing crisis requires good policy

Housing has been a challenge here in the Yampa Valley since the late 1970s. Perhaps because we live in such a beautiful and desirable county, it may always be an issue.

But just because the goal seems insurmountable, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to help our community. Think of the old-fashioned barn raising where neighbors gathered to help each other build something.

There are several housing programs that align with Republican values, specifically those involving either self-help or private sector development and partnerships.

Eighteen families funded by the USDA, along with the former nonprofit Regional Affordable Living Foundation, built homes in Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Oak Creek. This group build concept is alive and well throughout the U.S.

Another “self-help” model is the internationally known Habitat for Humanity, which built 10 homes and duplexes here in Steamboat Springs from 2000 through 2010. Community volunteers pounded nails and hung drywall alongside future homeowners.

Another successful program that Routt County has utilized is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, or LIHTC. This highly competitive program, created under the Reagan administration has recently funded the 48 unit Reserves apartments, the 72 unit Alpenglow and the 90 unit Anglers 400. By offering tax credits to the private sector via a public market, The Yampa Valley Housing Authority has partnered with a private developer to build and manage these income restricted units.

Four years ago, voters in Steamboat Springs were given the opportunity to tax themselves 1 mil for a 10-year time frame to support the Housing Authority plan, in accordance with TABOR rules. The voters overwhelmingly voted in support of this tax.

The Brown Ranch is being developed with the vision of the West Steamboat Area Plan and the new Routt County Master Plan. Housing and transportation go hand in hand as both issues need solutions.

Food and shelter are basic human needs. To ensure the people who represent the essential core of Routt County, our teachers, firefighters, other first responders, nurses and service industry employees should have the option to live in the communities where they work.

There is one candidate who has been working on these problems the better part of her professional and volunteer career scanning almost 50 years. Elect Kathi Meyer, candidate for Routt County commissioner, and she will make sure that Routt County, working collaboratively with its municipalities, continues to make progress on its housing challenges.

Routt County Republican Central Committee

PUBLISHED SOURCE: Steamboat Pilot & Today

Kathi Meyer: Transportation

Kathi Meyer: Transportation

Routt County not only has a river running through it, but also a US Highway. The highway brings opportunities in facilitating connections between municipalities via car, truck or bus, but it also brings front range control of several other highways via oversight by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

When I-70 closes for fire or mudslide, Routt County sees major traffic impacts without any significant financial help or long-range alternatives.

As your Commissioner, I will work collaboratively with all affected entities for a fair and equitable solution. Doing nothing is not an option.


Kathi Meyer

One possible improvement is the formation and funding, subject to voter approval, of a Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). Improving roads, increasing bus services and even exploration of resurrecting rail service are all opportunities possible by creating an entity whose sole focus is all things transit. The one exception would be to continue to support the existing ownership and operation of the Yampa Valley Regional Airport by the County.

Last year saw the cost benefit and improved operational alternatives as a result of expanded competition. There are exciting things on the horizon with an expanded terminal and a potential new industrial park surrounding the airport. Upkeep of our Road and Bridge system is a core service of the County which demands continued focus and upkeep.

Finally, we must seek partnerships with both other public sectors partners and private development to increase bike and pedestrian connections, not just on a neighborhood basis, but on a community-wide level.

SOURCE: Kathi Meyer for County Commissioner

Kathi Meyer: Fiscal Responsibility

Kathi Meyer: Fiscal Responsibility

Early in my lending career, my mentor told me to treat every financial decision I made as if it was funded by my own hard-earned dollars.

As your County Commissioner, I vow to treat every financial decision as if it was my last penny.

My track record on the Steamboat Springs City Council supports my ethic of conservative fiscal responsibility.


Kathi Meyer

I will use my 25 years of disciplined financial management experience to thoroughly evaluate and understand every aspect of Routt County’s revenue and expenses. My corporate experience and common-sense approach taught me fiscal discipline and the ability to understand complex financial structures.

One of the key duties of all County Commissioners is the annual budget review and oversight of the County’s revenues and expenses. Unlike some cities, counties and states, the current fiscal status of Routt County is strong. I pledge to continue that strength as your fiscal steward.

One of the core values adopted Routt County is fiscal responsibility. It states in part “An obligation… by balancing efficiency and flexibility with budgetary discipline, while seeking sustainable resources and practicing long-term planning and prudent use of debt.” I couldn’t agree more.

Every decision has consequences, and each consequence has a cost. I will make sure that my fellow Commissioners hear that principle on a regular basis.

SOURCE: Kathi Meyer for County Commissioner

Kathi Meyer: The Housing Issue in Routt County

Kathi Meyer: The Housing Issue in Routt County

Housing has been a challenge here in the Yampa Valley since the late 1970’s. Perhaps because we live in such a beautiful and desirable county, it may always be an issue.

But just because the goal seems insurmountable, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to help our community.

I think of the old-fashioned barn raising where neighbors gathered to help each other build something!


Kathi Meyer

I’ve spent the better part of my life creating opportunities for others to have safe, decent housing. During my corporate career, I led the financing for apartment complexes, mobile home parks and senior housing. And while serving on the Fannie Mae Advisory Board, I spearheaded national changes for first-time homebuyer loan programs and access to mortgages for minority populations.

When I moved to Routt County 26 years ago, I continued creating safe, decent housing opportunities, serving on the Board of the Regional Affordable Living Foundation (RALF). We acquired the 55-unit Hillside Village Apartments, started the USDA self-help program which financed the building of 18 single family residences throughout Routt County, and began the planning for the construction of 30 for-sale condominiums at Fox Creek. Then after the RALF Board worked collaboratively for two years with City and County officials, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority (YVHA) was born.  And it was an honor to be chosen the first YVHA Board President. Since then, the Housing Authority has acquired the 68-lot Fish Creek mobile home park and built the 48-unit Reserves apartments and the 72-unit Alpenglow apartments with joint venture partners. The 90-unit Sunlight apartments will be leased up this summer. And recently YVHA broke ground on their next low- and moderate-income project at Anglers 400.

In 2010, I joined the board of Routt County Habitat for Humanity where I served as its Treasurer and past President. Under my watch, we built and sold a duplex in the Riverside neighborhood.

In 2018 our community voted overwhelmingly to support a small mil levy, as a dedicated funding source for housing. Perhaps that was one reason a generous, anonymous donor gifted $30 million dollars to expand our community housing stock by more than 2,500 units by 2040. The Brown Ranch is envisioned to be a new community and the Mid-Valley development will provide for-sale and rental opportunities.

Our County Commissioners should be leaders in setting goals, acting, and making sure the people who represent the essential core of Routt County—our teachers, firefighters, nurses, and service employees can live in the communities where they work.

Infrastructure, such as water, sewer, and roads, represents a major cost and hurdle in the development of housing. The County should play a significant role in solving the most high-profile challenge facing its citizens by endorsing housing grants, streamlining its internal approval processes for housing projects, and supporting its municipalities as they deal locally with their own infrastructure and housing challenges.

Finally, we must not forget our senior population who struggle to “age in place” and stay in the communities where they raised their family, and maybe our next generation.

Food and shelter are basic human needs. But we, as Routt County, can certainly do better than just basic.

SOURCE: Kathi Meyer for County Commissioner