Editorial: Action on Eagle County housing good to see | VailDaily.com

Editorial: Action on Eagle County housing good to see

Scott N. Miller
Vail Daily Editorial Board

All but the most ardent libertarians will ” or should ” acknowledge there are situations when the free market doesn’t work. Eagle County’s affordable housing shortage is one of those situations.

Whether or not you believe the situation is as dire as it’s been painted by some, our valley is short of housing for entry and mid-level employees. When even “affordable” two-bedroom condos at Brett Ranch are advertised for $369,000, our housing market needs help.

With that in mind, it’s good to read that the county will open an affordable housing “store” in Edwards this year. The idea is to be a one-stop shop for first-time buyers, with people on hand to help folks navigate the area’s myriad different deed restrictions and provide advice about downpayment assistance, tax credits for mortgage interest and other financing options and assistance.

It’s also good to see one of the county’s biggest employers, the Eagle County School District, putting money behind the West End affordable project at Edwards, and, perhaps, the Stratton Flats project at Gypsum. With the district’s school board poised to hire a new superintendent soon, we hope he or she will continue this strong commitment to housing teachers and other employees.

It’s even better to see that the school district intends to recoup its initial investment as units are sold. Recovering tax money spent on housing may not always be possible, but it should be one of the top goals of any government program.

Ultimately, though, it’s great to see some real action on affordable housing. The fact is that we’ll always be behind the curve on available units, and it’s always going to be expensive to buy a home here. But virtually any responsible steps taken now will be a positive for the valley in the long run.

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