Steve Martens: Housing a joke in Summit County |

Steve Martens: Housing a joke in Summit County

Steve Martens

Affordable housing is a joke in Summit County, considering that units in the Wellington Neighborhood are going for $300,000. How can anyone afford that making $10/hr.? Where do you suppose the workers live? Fairplay? Costs are going up there. Gas prices won’t stay this low for long. Food prices remain high. Most don’t have a fighting chance. Most people have as much chance as a snowball has on a sidewalk in Phoenix in July. None.

I lived in a unit in Wellington. Nice neighborhood. But they aren’t built worth a crap. Heating units don’t generate enough heat. Not enough insulation. Outside walls were cold to the touch. The peaks of the roof have mesh to act as a vent to cool the attic. The mesh lets snow blow in. Several times we had to shovel the attic. Clapboard siding on the house in an environment that has harsh weather. Paint was already peeling and the siding was starting to cup and warp.

Why would someone pay that kind of money for a cheaply put-together unit? I left Summit County because of the lack of affordability.

Land costs are a joke. $300,000 for an undeveloped lot in Breckenridge. Market value is a joke. I lived in another unit in Frisco that was valued at $285,000. It needed to be gut like a pig.

Affordable housing should just mean lower payments. They should also provide the highest energy efficiency possible so the owners don’t spend an arm and a leg to heat and cool the home. Include solar and geothermal. It’s cheaper when built into new construction than to retrofit.

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