Housing authority bends the rules | AspenTimes.com
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Housing authority bends the rules

Dear Editor:In 2004, the Housing Authority said that “we have almost reached the stated goal of housing 60 percent of Aspen’s work force.” Last count, within the Urban Growth Area, 66 percent of all the housing built is now in the affordable housing program for employees. Since these last figures, 501 affordable units or 962 affordable bedrooms have been added.The last quote by Frank Peters is that we will never have enough affordable housing. People will always want to come here and work. Then, I ask, at what point does this all stop?We build and build and when the Housing Authority cannot sell the units they have on the market, they bend the rules so they can get them sold. “We work with the individuals,” as Cindy Christensen says. Sometimes it means allowing people with free-market units to move into affordable units. Sometimes we cannot sell three-bedroom units, and the unit will go to one person. We know many people who are living in affordable housing units and own free-market units here and downvalley. This violates the spirit of building affordable/employee housing for those in need. The biggest perpetrator of this abuse is the Housing Authority, who bends the rules to get the units sold.For a town of this size, we have one of the biggest entitlement programs of this nature in the country! It is becoming a drawing card to living in this valley. It will only continue to grow, as we continue to elect pro-growth public officials.The biggest indicator for needed affordable housing is the rental market. Just look at the number of rentals available at Centennial and how many affordable units there are available.So, now we are building the biggest subdivision ever. The categories are mostly for households making over $100,000 or with assets of $900,000 or unlimited income. Do we need to subsidize the wealthy?If Burlingame is built, this will only be the beginning of the end of this beautiful mountain community. Sprawl!Vote NO on annexation of Bar/X Ranch and elect the candidates who are running on slow growth. Work to keep our small-town character.Junee KirkAspen


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