Mulcahy case exposes APCHA’s lack of transparency

While it is understandable that both sides settled this case — the Mulcahys are exhausted and Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority is not interested in further investigation into their policies, practices and accounting — it is unfortunate; two aspects have not been addressed.

1) The risk to participants presented by APCHA: “The procedural violations that occurred in his case are serious ones that impact any citizens facing a potential regulatory action from APCHA. Lee’s case sets a worrisome precedent. As it stands right now, his case effectively sets the precedent that APCHA can violate its own regulations, then sue people in state court to enforce those improper actions, then disregard all of its procedural obligations in state court and still obtain an enforceable judgment depriving people of house and home. It has been an uphill battle but Lee has been fighting not only for his rights, but also to ensure APCHA is held accountable and that these same violations do not occur to other APCHA residents.” — “Regarding Lee Mulcahy’s case with APCHA,” guest commentary by Jordan Porter, Feb. 28, 2021, Aspen Daily News)

2) The risk to the greater community (all of us via county tax, city tax, building fees, participant fees, etc) which funds APCHA and its projects. The maximum sale price awarded the Mulcahys — how was that calculated? (Perhaps: The initial cost of building, minus the subsidies [which were substantial for this home], times the CPI at time of build, divided by the CPI at time of sale, minus subsidies for infrastructure annual costs. Perhaps not.)

I don’t know, it’s impossible to find out — but I do know that policies would be more clear and workable, and relations between participants and APCHA would be more functional, if the amount of subsidy into each home — and the home’s management and infrastructure — in each community is transparent throughout all phases and in all references.

Peg O’Brien

Woody Creek