Housing request is misdirected at MAA | AspenTimes.com

Housing request is misdirected at MAA

Dear Editor:

It seems our elected officials, Mick Ireland and Jack Johnson, are misdirected in their advocacy and improperly looking to others to solve a legitimate affordable-housing problem.

We almost certainly need more affordable housing. However, if the Music Associates of Aspen (MAA) is not generating any new jobs with its improved teaching spaces, then why should they be looked to as a solution for the larger housing need not of their making? MAA complied with the code, which required no mitigation in view of no new job generation, so that should end it.

And how does the government itself react in similar circumstances? How many housing units are ever generated for government improvements of any sort? Did the city add new housing, for its account, when the recreation center was built?

As for construction activity generating housing obligations ” that is preposterous! Construction, by its very nature, is a temporary activity and does not ” for a given project ” generate any permanent housing needs. Again, how many housing units were required for building the new fire station as the result of the construction activity? Or for the improvements to City Hall?

The government needs to address the affordable housing issue with a full review of its policies, costs, enforcement and all other associated matters. The government cannot just negotiate (read “extort”) it from other projects, such as the MAA, and hope to truly solve the problem.

James DeFrancia


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