Housing’s no laughing matter
Vail, Colorado CO
Not to interrupt the hearty chuckle at a committee taking “action” by forming another committee. But the blue ribbon commission on housing did give itself a better chance of achieving something by appointing a smaller working group last week.
The work of Congress, after all, happens through the myriad of committees in the House and the Senate. The state legislatures work the same way. Even town councils break themselves into smaller units to better tackle specific issues.
Housing that the workers in this community can afford is the No. 1 challenge today.
Off of this one spin our problems with the cost of living, that “living” wage some believe is their native birthright, this region’s labor shortage and much of the rest of our community ills.
It won’t take much more of a labor shortage, or spike in home prices, or even “good” development projects that still create way more jobs than can housed or filled here to cut the laughter short.
The trend lines are disturbingly clear at this point. Continue on the same path long enough and disaster awaits. That’s the default: continue until the utter lack of workers for the jobs makes living ” or second-home visiting ” painful enough that people won’t do it. In that case, housing will get awfully cheap, all right.
From the Fed on down to the local level, the heart of government’s role is to avoid such harsh, violent turns in the “free” market truly unleashed. As the Fed aims for soft landings in economic turns, Eagle County’s cacophony of governments need to come together to address the housing challenge.
A smaller subset of the blue ribbon commission at least provides a better chance that something tangible will come out of the process besides some talk.
Laugh, if you must. But this actually makes sense.