Towns in Colorado High Country eye ways to ease affordable housing shortage
Mountain leaders wrestle with community vs. commodity dilemma
The Denver Post
Colorado’s High Country housing barrier for workers has led this past year to doubled wait times for buses, grocery stores closing early, pharmacies no longer open on weekends, and shortages of teachers, nurses, dispatchers and first responders.
And if you call Summit County government, unfilled positions limit what can be done.
Yet 34% to 71% of the sky-high housing across 15 counties in western Colorado sits vacant, census data show. Tens of thousands of empties — second homes, vacation rentals and investor-owned properties ranging from mansions to condos — are affordable for well-to-do visitors but not locals.
The pandemic has also led to scores of people moving to the mountains, causing competition for housing and rental prices to rise sharply.
To preserve some affordable housing, towns in the high country are increasingly considering measures to ease the burden.
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