August 30, 2008
Recently, I tried to find information on affordable housing for myself in the town of Basalt, after having to move three years in a row due to exorbitant rent increases. My last apartment went up to $1,400 per month plus utilities for a 500-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in Willits. After speaking to five different people, five different offices, all avenues explored turned up with “nothing available.” I have to move to Garfield County if I would like affordable housing. I was gravely discouraged by the Eagle County housing administrator who even had trouble pronouncing the town “El Jebel.”
My question is in regards to the ballot measure for town council members. If we are going to put residency requirements on our town council members, how can we ensure that there will be housing for them? I currently make $50,000 per year by working two jobs and I cannot house myself in Basalt, Willits, El Jebel, or Blue Lake without roommates. If the goal of Basalt is not to become another Aspen, I’m afraid it’s too late.
Our town council members must be the voice for us residents who are being squeezed out of our community. This is real. How can we require housing for our representatives when there is no secure plan in providing it?