Letter: Writer’s assertions were off base
I would like to take the opportunity to correct a statement made in a letter to the editor in the Aspen Times on June 9 titled “Housing rules are meant to be followed.”
The author talked about different solutions to different issues within the affordable housing program, including: “that the housing board somehow turns down proposed existing buildings to be converted from free-market to employee designation for reasons like the apartments aren’t large enough or they don’t have enough amenities.”
This is an inaccurate and misleading statement. So far this year the board has discussed two tentative proposals at the request of two different applicants about converting older (1960s era) multifamily free-market properties into deed restricted units through the Housing Credits program. These were not applications requiring action (i.e. formal decisions), but discussions had at the request of developers seeking the board’s feedback.
The fact is that the Housing Authority board expressed enthusiastic support for both proposed conversion projects. However, due to the age of the structures, and yes, in part, due to concerns over unit size and other issues like health and safety, they understood that our existing rules for converting older free-market housing into safe, dependable deed-restricted units provide insufficient guidance.
In response, Housing Authority staff was asked to draft an update of its existing building, livability and marketability standards for new and converted affordable housing. The first draft was presented to the board several weeks ago, and a final draft should be ready for the board’s consideration shortly.
Executive director, Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority
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