Look at the big picture | AspenTimes.com

Look at the big picture

Dear Editor:

I read with surprise about Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority’s decision that yet another doctor should sell. But their decision doesn’t help anyone. There are two houses at North Forty that haven’t sold in a year. One owner left for work reasons.

Bruice travels to Denver to supplement his specialty practice. Locally he is underemployed.

I write because his case highlights an emerging problem. Underemployment here is probably above 30 percent.

Eighty-two percent of the money that circulated here came from real estate – selling, designing, building, landscaping, etc. That industry has dropped how much? Is 60 percent or 70 percent an acceptable number? As contract or commission labor they won’t show in unemployed figures.

But do the math. If 82 percent of the money came from an industry that dropped 60-70 percent, a lot of lives have changed.

I was showing property downvalley three weeks ago. Of 10 employee-priced apartments, two were “short sale,” two were already owned by the bank and one looked and felt abandoned. When I last checked the foreclosure list at the treasurer’s office, the bulk of the properties in trouble were part of our affordable housing program.

To survive some will have to do what Dr. Bruice is doing – commuting to another job, then returning home.

APCHA and our elected officials need to wake up and reassess their assumptions and actions. Punishing Dr. Bruice and others like him won’t serve anyone.

Shellie Roy


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