Prosperity for locals
December 1, 2011
The Aspen Area Community Plan is grinding forward and is a critically important document in which to make sure your opinion is represented. Up next is a City Council review of the Economic and Housing sections (Dec. 5 and 6).
“pros·per·i·ty 1. a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition, especially in financial respects; good fortune.”
I’d like to see a simple goal or policy in the plan embracing the desire to facilitate more opportunities for Aspen residents to prosper. Other than keeping/making Aspen the greatest resort and community experience in the world, there has been a lot of prosperity generated in the Aspen real estate market.
Why is Aspen real estate prosperity reserved almost exclusively for developers and those in the free market? Sixty percent of us live in affordable housing. To most Aspen resident, real estate is our single-most-valuable and important asset, our nest egg and our home. It is likely the bedrock we build our financial futures on. Why can’t we make this investment in home and community better for our locals? Provide opportunities for locals to be more prosperous with less subsidy – less subsidy.
We should find ways to broaden and diversify the affordable-housing market (“entry”-level, too) into a locals housing market with greater opportunity, fewer restrictions and more freedom for Aspen locals who cannot afford acceptable free-market options.
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The affordable housing system has been brilliant, and I am so proud of what we have done, but it needs to improve and expand.