As a resident of this area for the last 24 years, I am shocked by the lack of affordable housing for so many who need shelter. Some retail businesses in Salida have closed because workers can’t afford to live here.
Not long ago when I was at a restaurant in Leadville, the young waiter told me that he was living in a tent because he could not afford the cost of rent. This is not just a problem in Fremont, Chaffee, and Lake Counties, it’s a statewide issue that requires statewide planning and solution.
Our legislators in the Colorado House and Senate can make a difference by voting for Senate Bill 213 to help bring affordable housing to those who need it. This bill will expand the kind of affordable housing that can be built and it will incentivize local communities to address their own housing needs.
The lack of workforce housing is indeed a state-wide problem.
One reason is that many formerly affordable and available workforce homes have been bought by real estate investors who often turn these houses into short or long-term rentals.
I hate to see taxpayer money spent for workforce housing but that is our only short-term solution. No economy can prosper without skilled workers. We’re seeing that at this very moment in our local public and private employment sectors.
I really don’t have an answer. But we do have a major imbalance in our local housing market.
Yes there are over 100 people living in their campers because housing cost too high!