Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on 1A, 3A, 3B
Is it possible to find gratitude in the political climate we are all living with? Yes, living gratefully is pleasant here surrounded by natural, mountainous cathedrals with pristine rivers running through them, regardless of who is running for president. One damper to this postcard living is a shortage of affordable housing. The lack of affordable housing adds stress to our lives and takes time away from the amazing landscape I want to spend more time in. Thankfully, a group of leaders here in Eagle County has worked together to create Ballot Issue 1A. This collaboration has put together a plan to form public-private partnerships to help locals with the current housing stock and down payment assistance programs. A well-thought-out plan such as this urges communities to invest in housing to keep locals local and continue the plight of a vibrant economy.
I have read staggering statistics comparing the cost of living in Eagle County with other counties throughout Colorado. These statistics state exponentially higher housing expenditures up to 23 percent higher here. A troublesome term “cost-burdened households“ has recently come to my attention via the 2016 Housing Needs Assessment . A cost burdened household speaks to those paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing costs. Between 2010-2014, the average number of cost burdened households equated to almost 51 percent of owners with mortgages, 20 percent of owners without mortgages and 47 percent of renters here in Eagle County. I find these numbers staggering. Housing is a basic need and to know that Eagle County has a shortfall of approximately 4,500 housing units to meet current jobs is unfathomable to me. Truly, the time is now to address affordable workforce housing.
I cannot yet say what I will do with my vote in the presidential race; however, I do know my path with the local ballot. By voting “yes” to 1A (as well as to 3A and 3B, but that is yet another letter to write), I will be casting a vote that has great potential of positive impact within our community. Yes, please and thank you. Now can we all pretty please agree to help our family, friends and neighbors to live a little easier with a decrease in financial burden in housing and knowing that we can support our children to become global-ready citizens by voting “yes” on 1A, 3A and 3B? Thank you! Now please move forward raising children of the two- and four-legged nature, playing as much as possible, working honestly and with integrity, and living a compassionate and grateful life.