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Have you heard? We have a housing crisis!

For years Chaffee County, and its municipalities, have worked toward the establishment of a Multi-Jurisdictional Housing Authority. After much discussion, the first seeds were planted with the hiring of Becky Gray 7/2018, as Director of Housing. Now that it is established, the authority represents our best chance to provide permanently deed-restricted housing for those in our community who are unable to afford market-rate housing prices. It is an organization, overseen by a volunteer board, focused on housing the underserved in our community. You might be surprised to know that some of these individuals are not only service workers but fire and police officers, medical personnel, and teachers, just to name a few.

[Ballot question] 6A will provide permanent, reliable, funding for the housing authority. Money that can be used for many purposes, like purchasing land and developing much-needed affordable housing inventory. It can also be leveraged to bring in additional grant funding to add to our war chest.

With a yes on 6A, all property owners will see a modest increase in property taxes. That would include second homeowners. The Housing Needs Assessment adopted 7/2022, said 1 in 4 properties in Chaffee County are unoccupied. I can only assume that most are second homes. Only a small percentage of second homes are short-term rentals. Today, unoccupied second homes make no real contribution to our sales tax revenues or our housing crisis.

Nobody wants their property taxes to increase, but it is a price I am willing to pay to be part of the solution. Every property owner should participate, even second homeowners. Vote yes on 6A to ensure we are doing everything we can to help our entire population gain access to stable, secure housing.

Francie Bomer