Letter: Habitat better served downvalley
A duplex is built in Aspen. The duplex is sold to low-income families ($25,000 to $57,000 a year) preferably already living in Aspen. Why?
I live alone in Carbondale, with no wife or children to feed, with a 4.4 percent mortgage rate. I am very fortunate and live a great life, but I do not see how a family needing a three-bedroom duplex (say a family of four) could afford to live in Aspen! The cost of living in Aspen is estimated to be 37.9 percent higher than the rest of Colorado. The estimated median household income in 2011 was $71,541, and I can only imagine that has increased in the past three years. The median gross rent in 2011 was $1,308. My mortgage in Carbondale for a $260,000 loan is $1,330 for a single-family, two-story, five-bedroom/two full bath home. What pricing will these duplexes be selling for? What will be the interest rate given by Habitat for Humanity? Will pets be allowed? How much is a gallon of milk in Aspen? A gallon of gas in Aspen is $4.40 at the Aspen Business Center and $4.73 in town!
Last year I made less than $57,000. Each month I have a couple hundred dollars left over after my mortgage payment, utilities, personal health insurance costs, cellphone bill, Internet, but no cable as it is $90 to be a dumb-ass vegetable sitting on the couch and some groceries. How will a family of four (or more) be able to live in Aspen making less than $57,000? Legally?
I moved from Aspen/Snowmass to Carbondale 10 years ago because things got too expensive, and I got a dog. I wanted to buy a free-market home and could not afford anything more than $300,000. And again I state: I am single with one dog and no children to feed.
The Habitat money, in my opinion, could do much more good for more families downvalley at more affordable rates for land, construction materials, permit fees, annual taxes, cost of living and sustaining a family, etc. Leave Aspen to the billionaires! Case in point is the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park — trailers with 10 or more “undocumented” persons living in it and they are now demanding that the city pay for their relocation. Who should have paid for this “documented” person’s moving/relocation expenses when Aspen got too expensive for me 10 years ago? That is another editorial that has been brewing in my brain for a long time. Enjoy the deep pow!
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Richard Compton’s life will be celebrated in an informal gathering on Oct. 23 from 1-3 p.m. at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. All are welcome.