No more affordable housing
August 6, 2002
Somebody in local politics has to stand up and say it; we have enough employee housing already. First of all, business in town stinks and there’s an abundance of employees here to service the few tourists who haven’t figured out what a vacation rip-off this place is.
Second, it is simply not possible to build enough below-market-price employee housing to squelch all of the whining. If you start giving stuff away, people will line up to take it regardless of what it is.
Look at the free concerts in Snowmass. They run washed-up and tired old bands across the stage every week and thousands show up where nobody would pay two bits to see the shows otherwise.
Third, building employee housing is development. How can the voters of this town make such a fuss over Marolt open space and then give the thumbs up to ripping apart Burlingame to build 600 employee housing units?
Fourth, it is time to start considering the quality of housing versus the quantity of it in order to re-create a feeling of community. Right now, the unsatisfied and grumpy work force living in shoddy employee housing is not making this a more desirable place to live. There is tremendous resentment between the haves and the have-nots.
Not between the wealthy and the working or the locals and the seconds, but between those who win housing lotteries and those who don’t. If you are lucky enough to win one of the nicer units, everybody begrudges you; the taxpayers, downvalley commuters, lottery losers, those struggling with mortgages on free-market homes, Mick Ireland, everybody!
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Fifth, a rose is a rose, a fractional ownership unit is a time share, and employee housing is “the projects.” Show me someone that has been living in employee housing for any length of time and I’ll show you a person with a festering self-esteem problem.
Finally, most employees don’t really like employee housing once they get it. It’s like buying a shirt on sale. You wait in line for hours pushing, shoving, lying and cheating just to hold your place. When you’re lucky enough to get into the store there’s not much selection left.
It’s just low quality, ugly, picked-over crap. You end up buying some weird-colored button-down that doesn’t really fit. You convince yourself that it’s fine for a while. Eventually you stop dry-cleaning and taking care of it because it’s not worth it. At last, you take it, unfolded, wrinkled, and dirty, to the thrift shop for the next sucker to “enjoy.”
Todd “I’ll take the cave” Coghi