Can’t have it both ways | AspenTimes.com
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Can’t have it both ways

Dear Editor:I’ve lived here 25 years and would have been long gone were it not for affordable housing. I am one of the people Toni Kronberg says would not be served by Burlingame.My household is smaller than it once was and I would be well-served by one of the 63 two-bedroom units. As it is, I have to hang on to my three-bedroom unit because there is no way I could rent on the free market. After 25 years, I do not want to become a commuter to the nearest affordable town, Carbondale or Silt or New Castle.The complaint that Burlingame does not provide enough lower income units comes from the same people that complained a month ago that the proposed project was a “ghetto” housing only a limited cross section of Aspen workers.They want it both ways: too many lower category units one day, not enough the next. If we put the money into making the units lower in price, they’ll complain about the price as they did in the 2000 election, when they claimed it would take “all other tax sources earmarked for the AACP ‘priority’ list for affordable housing for the next 10 years!” (See their ad in the Aug. 7, 2000 Aspen Times.)In fact, Burlingame includes 97 category units two through four. When the county completes the Stillwater cost, the land and construction subsidy will be about $300,000 for each of 12 category 3 and 4 units. Building 97 category units at Stillwater prices would mean a total subsidy of $29 million, almost twice the subsidy for the entire 236 units at Burlingame.A family of four living in a one- or two-bedroom apartment today might move up to a three-bedroom unit at Burlingame, making their smaller home available for a smaller household. That’s what happened at North 40 – as larger households moved to North 40, their former residences were available to others.The simple fact is the folks fighting Burlingame are the same ones who made the same losing arguments four years ago and who have never supported affordable housing anywhere at any price. Please vote yes on May 3.Steve SaundersAspen


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