The city of Cortez has created a housing needs assessment to try to understand housing conditions in the city and the challenges residents face with finding jobs and housing.
This assessment was created to forecast housing needs for the next five years and to as formulate recommendations on how to address these needs.
According to the assessment, the population in Cortez is growing exponentially faster than housing. Additionally, housing prices are increasing, and the competition for rentals is skyrocketing, making it difficult for people in lower-income jobs.
Cortez has more than 9,000 residents and 4,060 housing units. Only 6% homes are considered vacant or unoccupied.
The number of rentals in Cortez is low, accounting for 40% of housing units in the area. The low availability of rentals and rising housing costs have discouraged workers who apply for jobs, and employers who need workers.
Few unemployed who live in the area are looking for jobs, and employers are forced to look outside the area and try to obtain workers who are looking for jobs in a competitive job market.
“Increasing the supply and diversity in Cortez is an important component of economic development in the city,” the assessment said.
The city gave six recommendations to help combat this problem:
- Continue to improve land use regulations and incentives.
- Increase the supply of housing.
- Invest in strong community partnerships.
- Provide land.
- Preserve and reuse existing assets.
- Attract new funding to the area.
Some of the needs presented are housing options, job growth, filling retiree vacancies, updating land use codes to be more flexible and have greater clarity, increase rentals and increasing diversity of housing.
The assessment was presented at the last City Council meeting and will continue to be discussed in the coming months.