Housing will only get worse
Dear Editor:No affordable housing in our valley. News flash: This has been happening since the early ’80s.Now it has become the battle cry of the employers of the valley.Let’s take a step back and look at what has happened in this valley over the past 20 years. In the West End, there was a time when there were kids playing and families bringing up their kids just like everywhere else in the U.S. It was the same on Cemetery Lane. It was like that all over Aspen and Basalt.Now when you ride through these neighborhoods they are ghost towns. Second homeowners have driven the heart and soul out of these neighborhoods. Why? Because the battle cry of the realtors is “Whatever the market will bear.” You can’t blame them or anybody else. We are a bottom-line society. Whatever the market will bear. Everything has been bought up, tore up and rebuilt, bigger and better. At what cost?It has cost us the soul of these towns. Kids grow up here and can no longer stay. There are no starter homes for kids to buy when they come back to our valley after school or whatever. Everyone says the wages are so good up here, but hardly anyone can come here and find a place to rent, let alone buy on the wages they offer. There isn’t any affordable housing for the middle class, or the kids that come back and try to start a family, let alone wages to support them.So everybody is in this big uproar over no affordable housing. They have turned the valley into an area of transition; people come, stay for a while and move on after seeing how difficult it is to stay here. All the while no one does much about the housing problem or the cost of living here.The exodus will continue – soon they won’t be able to fill even the best jobs because the backbone of the U.S (the middle class) will stop trying to make it here.Good job Aspen and Basalt, you have cut the heart and soul out of this area. You think it is bad now? Give it a few years.Russ DeckerCarbondale
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Aspen City Council is considering yet again to ask voters whether to repurpose Wheeler real estate transfer tax for another community use. The idea has been discussed dozens of times over the years by various councils.