Time to redo Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority rules
February 7, 2019
APCHA APCHA APCHA, Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.
Endless growth. That's our economic model. Aspen-Pitkin Housing Authority's circa 1970s rules are not carved in stone. It's time to smash them.
Solution 1: Foster a non-growth economic model.
Solution 2: Pay the servants more.
Solution 3: Tax the masters more.
We complain that APCHA should sustain itself and limit free-market potential in the same breath. APCHA puts a cap on earnings for residents and limits tenure. APCHA restricts rentals and resale. APCHA also cedes maintenance and responsibility for maintenance to those same residents.
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So, live below the Aspen poverty line if you want to keep your home, move or die at the end of your term, and don't repair anything because you don't have the money to do it much less the opportunity to recoup the cost on resale. Local government gives lip service to lower priced lodging and slaps fines on APCHA residents who rent out a couch during X Games, which in turn increases the Highway 82 bumper-car fun when our 100,000 new best friends rent homes below Basalt. The entire system is perched on the head of a very wobbly pin called the real estate transfer tax, so if we actually stop selling off paradise and leave room for trees, elk and a lion or two, we lose the cash for "affordable housing."
Solution 1: An arts economy.
Solution 2: Link wages to a percentage of profit. (or, ducking, make what we pay city staff in cash and benefits the minimum wage.)
Solution 3: A billionaire income tax for those who claim Aspen or Pitkin County as their primary residence. It will still be cheaper than NYC or LA. This links our tax base to our wealth index instead of build, buy, or die base.
Want to slow development? Require net-zero for every new building. Want to reduce traffic? Restrict traffic to electric vehicles. Want to subsidize housing? Co-sign leases on existing free-market housing and be a guarantor for the first, last and damage.
In 20 years, where do you want to be?