Writer on housing | AspenTimes.com

Writer on housing

Dear Editor,

Why am I considering running for office? Lots of reasons. One is I think we need to do a better job of providing opportunity for locals and keeping them here in Aspen. We have done an incredible job of creating over 2,800 Affordable Housing (AH) units. 2,808 is awesome, but as successful as the AH system has been it has failed to live up to one of the key initial goals – that being to provide access to free-market housing.

I want to find ways to create a significant “middle” real estate market designed to provide the opportunity for AH owners to move up out of the current AH system, and into a new market that provides them with an opportunity to own a home that can be as big or small as they can afford and with which they can do anything they want. What is wrong with giving those in the AH system a means to move up the real estate ladder? Right now we have the lower rungs of the ladder and the upper rungs and no way to get from one to the other as originally hoped. I say we all benefit by refocusing the money we currently get from the private sector (where all AH funds and units come from – not taxes) to create a new market designed to better the lives of those who live here. For every AH owner who moves into the middle market, a AH unit opens up for someone else to move into.

I think the middle market is Resident Only Housing (RO). This RO is also geared to appeal to older locals who wish to sell their homes and stay in Aspen, those who moved downvalley, and future Aspenites. No caps, no rules except you must be a resident. This middle market allows people to move up, move down and move in. I also believe we should be doing something to find ways for older folks to stay in Aspen. How can any community be “real” if it turns its back on its oldest citizens? Where is the assisted living facility that this community needs?! Sounds like housing to me, too.

In housing I think our best days are ahead of us.

Scott Writer


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