Letter to the editor: We don’t have a housing shortage; we have an availability shortage

Alex "Kayla Rose" Kiburas

Many thanks to Jason Blevins and The Colorado Sun for the article on the housing crisis in our resort communities, and to the Summit Daily News for printing the article in the April 2 edition of the paper. It bluntly reports what many of us have known for a while now: that the ultimate root cause of the housing crisis, and the problems that stem from it, is the wealthy out-of-towners and investment firms buying up any and all available housing at prices above market rate, driving out anyone who doesn’t have the cash up front.

I’m personally sick of seeing article after article about the “lack of housing,” immediately followed by full-page, self-congratulatory ads by real estate companies boasting about how much money they made. No other industry does this. We don’t have a housing shortage in Summit County. We have an availability shortage. Drive through The Highlands or take a walk up 4 O’clock in a few weeks to see for yourself all the properties sitting vacant.

Mandating long-term rentals and increasing taxes may temporarily alleviate some of the strain but is ultimately a Band-Aid solution. The only way things are truly going to change is if the people causing the problem wake up and realize it themselves. No one needs a 7,000-square-foot home to go on vacation for a week.

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