Seeking affordable housing solutions

Archuleta County is experiencing a housing crisis that is manifesting both in the amount of housing available, and the affordability of housing. 

The SUN has been running a series of articles investigating the origin and impact of the current housing crisis, as well as seeking out potential solutions.

The lack of affordable housing in Archuleta County is a multifaceted issue. Many factors in the housing crisis have been identified, including rising rents, increased growth and tourism, simultaneous increases in vacation rentals and decreases in long-term rentals, a lack of low-price housing stock, as well as low wages.

There is never a single solution, or a perfect solution, but many people in the county have already voiced their willingness to help identify and implement solutions. The next two installments of The SUN’s series on affordable housing will focus on this topic.

The first step toward any solution is fully defining the problem, which is a difficult undertaking. On Tuesday, Oct. 27, the Pagosa Springs Town Council and Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners held a joint work session during which they discussed the problem of housing.

During the discussion, Commissioner Michael Whiting asserted that housing is a problem, but not yet a crisis.

Town Manager Greg Schulte disagreed, stating that many employers in Pagosa Springs do see the current state of housing as a crisis.

Laura Lewis Marchino, of the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, thinks the problem of housing is still “being defined,” as indicated in an email to The SUN.

One reason for the lack of definition of the housing issue in Archuleta County could be attributed to how rapidly it became a problem.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

This story was posted on November 5, 2015.