Housing program is one to emulate | AspenTimes.com

Housing program is one to emulate

Dear Editor:

Since 1976, the community of Aspen has enjoyed the most successful and innovative resort affordable-housing program in the nation. In all the time since then, there have been no shortage of those who attack this program for one reason or another.

People have attacked the program because it results in too much density or does not develop densely enough. They have attacked it because it is too restrictive or too permissive. And, consistently, they have attacked it because it is a successful city and county government program, admired as a model throughout resort communities in the U.S. and Canada. Some people will just never believe that such a thing is possible, despite 30 years of clear evidence to the contrary.

The recent spate of attacks on the Burlingame project, based on the flimsy pretexts about the cost of the project, are just another example of over 30 years of this kind of nonsense. The city staff have already admitted an error in an informational brochure from the last Burlingame election, an election that was not even about the cost of the project but about whether it should happen at all. The city has already set out to get voter approval of new financing for the costs of the project, an election that will be about those issues. There has been, and will be, ample opportunity for anyone who has concerns about the success of the Burlingame development to be involved in a positive and productive way.

There are those whose agenda is to attack all community-based programs, without regard for the damage they do. I believe that this agenda is apparent to all the community and will never succeed in destroying a housing program that is the envy of so many. I have confidence that the community of Aspen, which has supported Burlingame overwhelmingly in two elections, will do so again.

Dave Tolen