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Worker housing in Aspen is hardly free

After reading Elizabeth Milias’s opinion piece the other day I tried to imagine what kind of housing program would suit her, since she disapproves of housing families and retirees (“Aspen’s workforce housing dilemma,” Oct. 24, The Aspen Times). It seems she believes every bed should contain a worker. No family members. No retirees.

That must call for sharing apartments and houses only with other workers. These workers should not have any familial ties or any credit if they have retired after thirty years. Therefore, my 2- and 4-year-old grandchildren who live with their parents, two hard-working workers, would be disqualified. Once you are too old to be shoveling snow or loading lifts, out of this valley you must go. Start a new life among strangers in your declining years. Certified workers would room with other certified workers. They shouldn’t really be having any other connections besides serving the privileged, anyway, should they?

Left undiscussed is the fact that deed-restricted housing is not “free” for workers.

The rates and fees for living in such housing are much higher here than free-market in the average town. So it is “provided” only with a hefty subsidy from the workers themselves.

And I wonder how many small businesses could continue to operate if affordable housing was filled exclusively by young, unattached and inexperienced loners, here for only a year or two.

Mary DuChein

Aspen and Baton Rouge, Louisiana


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