Locals need more housing opportunities | AspenTimes.com

Locals need more housing opportunities

Dear Editor:

Why more “employee” housing units? I think we need local housing for those retiring and others otherwise unable or unwilling to buy into the current employee-housing or free markets. We need a level of housing between the two – a product that offers units where local owners can do some or all of the following:

• Work fewer than the 1,500 hours a year required for employees

• Rent their unit for up to a specified number of months per year

• Buy a unit with as many bedrooms as they want and can afford

• Rent rooms

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• Upgrade their units at their own risk, and the market (not the government) will decide if their upgrades were worth it

• Leave to their resident qualifying heirs

• Sell to a locally qualifying buyer for as much as they can get. Yes they, like current affordable housing, risk prices going down. There is no “no-risk” solution to buying real estate

We already have 2,000-plus employee units in a community of 5,000 to 10,000 people. I encourage the city and county decision-makers to add units to the local real estate market that will expand the deed-restricted program and provide greater opportunity for those in it and a broader spectrum of those on the outside looking in. The goals should be to see Aspen be a better and more fulfilling and sustainable multigenerational community and to find opportunities that will give our kids and other aspiring lifelong Aspenites a chance to live, prosper and retire in Aspen.

A prosperous local population strengthens the local economy and community. Housing for the rich? What’s wrong with helping to create richer locals?

Scott Writer

Aspen