Summit Daily letters: How affordable is Summit’s affordable housing?
July 11, 2017
Distorting Liddick's views
I grew up in a time when it was considered all right to disagree with someone and to state how you disagreed. It was understood, and generally accepted, that your comments would be about what the person actually said. In recent years, on television, on radio, online and in newspapers, speakers and writers have increasingly taken the liberty of changing what the original writer or speaker has said and have substituted their own distorted interpretations of the original. Then, they proceed to attack what may be called a straw man that they have substituted.
A recent example of this occurred on these pages. Monday, I read Joel Schwartzman's comments on Morgan Liddick's recent column, "The Real Meaning of Independence." As I read, I found it hard to believe that Mr. Liddick really was "advocating an overthrow of our political system, thus putting an end to the American experiment." Neither could I imagine he was "advocating an end to health care or welfare for the down-and-out."
Since I had not read that particular column by Mr. Liddick, I made a point to find and read it. Mr. Liddick had advocated no such things. Rather than speaking against our form of government, Liddick called for bureaucrats and elected officials to start being more responsible servants of this country and its citizens. His pointing out that "to provide health care, food or shelter paid for by others" is not a constitutionally prescribed duty of the government is far from what Schwartzman calls "advocating an end to health care or welfare for the down-and-out."
Speak up, give you opposing opinion, but don't change what the other person actually said. And, before believing critical statements or reviews, check the original. Liddick's column was consistent with what he has written earlier.
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How affordable is Summit's affordable housing?
I notice all the articles about new "workforce" housing that is being created in Summit County. The problem is most if it is still too expensive for many workers, unless they still have to have a roommate or partner to share the expenses. People who do seasonal jobs are not as likely to make enough or have the stability to get home loans for the amounts a lot of this new housing is being sold for. Even many of the rentals are still too high, or do still force people to share housing. As an introvert myself, who likes to do my own interior decorating, this would not be suitable for me, as an example. I need to have my own place.
Housing used to aim to cost 30 percent of one's income, but that is rare now days. Many workers are paying over that, even with roommates or partners. The government recommends this 30 percent, yet in reality so many people must pay a much larger percentage of their income to have housing. The government ought to just change it that 50 percent or more needs to be used for housing costs.
I see no use in building homes for $200,000 to $300,000 which are called "micro" condos, and thus not as suitable for more than one person, when many workers in tourist area jobs in this area, and in other lines of work, are not likely to easily qualify for such loans. It would seem that more rentals would be more suitable. And maybe don't ask for first, last and a deposit to get into the housing. That is likely to be $4,000 cash or more to move into an apartment! Yes, cash. How many average workers have this much money just to get a rental? And, especially if perhaps they only plan to stay six months for a ski job, etc.?
In many ways, it is a farce that Summit County is creating "affordable" housing for the actual work force that exists here.
Meanwhile, many of these building projects are being helped out by a town or the county giving free land or agreeing to put up the costs or studies involving the water and sewer infrastructure.
Yet, when the senior housing project actually found some land they could have gotten donated to them for the senior housing they have been working on for years, one of the main reasons they could not do this project was that the town of Frisco would charge them too much for the water and sewer infrastructure, because the area was unincorporated. Yet, the unincorporated area in which the Lake Hill housing project is being built on, apparently Frisco has agreed to work with them for water and sewer infrastructure. Perhaps they can pay more than the senior housing project could? Or perhaps "workforce" housing is just more profitable than income based rental senior housing and supportive care facilities would be.
Colorado Mountain College also needs affordable housing that is easy to get to help the college to grow. Most colleges have student housing. They don't have to compete with a rich tourist industry to have a place to live while in school.
It seems to me that the money that can now be charged for rentals and purchases of housing in this area is the main reason so many projects are enabled to get going now. Yet, even the "low" rents are high for so many working people. Just ask any mortgage broker how the figures have to work for people to buy. And rents are more than a lot of earlier mortgages.
All this hype about all the "affordable" housing that is being created is much ado about practically nothing, in my mind. It will still be too costly, and it will still not be enough. And there will still not be income based rental housing for low-income seniors.
Bring NRO back where it belongs
As we all know this year's 4th of July NRO concert was held in Silverthorne, Rainbow Park. The orchestra was excellent. The venue was less than marginal compared to Dillon's Amphitheatre. Acoustics poor. Visual enjoyment non-existent. Parking and exiting challenging. Distractions galore. The maestro lacked his usual enthusiasm. Excitement. Energy. The auction was a bust. The fly by, by the Colorado Air National Guard pretty special.
It would be in the best interest of of all concerned if the two towns, Dillon and Silverthorne could work out an agreement to host the NRO back where it belongs, by the lake at the Amphitheatre. Maybe the testosterone could be shelved and the two competing towns could come together to continue what used to be a special event for all comers. How about some good neighborly friendship for the good of our community? Let's make Summit County great again.
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