Aspen mayoral candidates on how to get more housing without building it


Candidates for the two-year term discuss alternatives to building affordable housing in Aspen

Editor’s note: Today is the fourth question in a series of five posed to the two Aspen mayoral candidates. Their answers (200-word limit) will be published each day through Friday. For more information on the 2021 Aspen municipal election, go to

What other methods are there to achieve more affordable housing other than building new housing?


We have got a lot of opportunities that we need to pursue for a comprehensive approach to the long term affordable housing strategy.

I am advocating for a community involved process to develop long range goals and planning.

We need to start by refining the current program, ensuring that we are operating an efficient, fair and maximized program. We are bringing in a new executive director, amending guidelines and making process reform in APCHA.

We have got to address the capital improvement and maintenance of existing housing stock in order to keep these homes in a condition that maintains our pride in them and extends the useful lifespan.

Another opportunity that is approaching is to find resolve for the deed restrictions that will be expiring in the coming years.Keeping these units in the program is an important step to avoid the need for building new units.

We need to create more partnerships to support the housing efforts of those that need it. Sharing resources to tackle this issue of utmost importance is the only way we can make the necessary improvements going forward.

Lee Mulcahy

Allow people to build tiny homes. First, reform APCHA. Here are a few examples of why it needs to be reformed.

Jeffrey Evans, a midvalley resident who ran for Pitkin County commissioner in 2020 and lost, stated: “The Mulcahy saga has dragged on for so long that many have forgotten … Here’s your reminder. If you are one of the 3,000 or so people/families living in housing under the influence of the housing authority, keep your mouth shut. Do not criticize local government. Remember that the Aspen Institute is above reproach in all things. Attempts to organize workers at Aspen Skiing Co. will be treated like nuclear terrorism. Got it? Good, you can stay in your home.”

Also, APCHA has instituted a public comment policy that smacks of China. As discovered in an open records request, the public comment policy was written by the police and forwarded to APCHA. A hilarious transcript from a 2018 APCHA meeting:

(APCHA’s chair) asks Mulcahy to remove his hat.

“Yes, your highness,” – Mulcahy

“I think that that’s an inappropriate comment and I don’t expect to hear that from you any more during the public comments,” (the Chair) retorted.

When Mulcahy subsequently followed with, “You said I couldn’t criticize you two weeks ago,” the APCHA chair replied, “You can’t criticize us.”

I humbly ask for your vote.