Thursday, July 17, 2008

Affordable Housing in Steamboat Springs - One Man's Opinion

Robert Miner: Get rid of agenda
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I’m sure all of our local politicians and bureaucrats celebrated Independence Day. July Fourth should be a celebration of American freedom, independence and self-reliance.

Were our politicians and bureaucrats celebrating in good conscience the independence of American citizens that is based on self-reliance and lack of government interference, which leads to our free enterprise system, which leads to the most prosperous nation in recorded history?

How can the Steamboat Springs City Council and other local government bureaucrats celebrate American independence yet aggressively promote a socialist agenda — to each according to his need — through its so-called “affordable” housing initiatives, zoning and other policies?

“Affordable” housing as promoted by our local bureaucrats is subsidized housing in one form or another. All of the subsidized housing schemes are wealth transfer payments of some kind. A very limited number of housing units are subsidized from taxes or by requiring a large portion of home owners to pay a relatively higher price for their homes in any development to subsidize part of the home cost of the so called “affordable” homes.

If the objective of the subsidized (affordable) housing schemes is to make available lower-cost housing, they have precisely the opposite effect to the community at large. Because unsubsidized housing (“market priced”) must be priced relatively higher than the price in a free and unsubsidized market in order to cover the cost of the “affordable” housing subsidy, the majority of buyers must pay more for their housing to pay the difference of the below market priced, subsidized housing.

These subsidies have a much more costly, long-term effect to the community. Because the unsubsidized homes are sold for a higher price than they would be sold in a free market of unsubsidized homes, the relative values of all comparable properties in the community are raised. The result of the “affordable” housing programs is the majority of the homes in the community are priced higher than they would be if there were no subsidized housing programs forced on developers. The result is exactly the opposite of what the “affordable” housing bureaucrats claim they are striving for.

All costs of the affordable housing initiatives are passed on to the home buyers of the “market priced,” unsubsidized homes. Plus, all of the additional costs born by the developers to comply with the “affordable” housing laws are also added to the price of the unsubsidized homes, making them even more expensive and further raising the price of resale homes, which are priced by comparable sales of the higher-priced, unsubsidized homes.

Our local politicians and bureaucrats who are forcing the “affordable” housing programs on developers in our community are in reality making housing relatively more expensive for the vast majority of the community. Not just for new home buyers in developments that must mark up the price of the unsubsidized homes to cover the subsidized cost of the “affordable” home but for resale home buyers as well through the higher comparable sales prices. All because of the socialist ideals of our local politicians that could not be further from the principles of independence and self-reliance that we celebrate each July Fourth.

This community was founded by independent and self-reliant men and women who took great personal and financial risks to found a ranching community. They succeeded or failed on their own terms. This community has thrived and prospered because of the initiative and sacrifice of men and women who developed the ski and tourism industry into a prosperous community for all.

If our local politicians and bureaucrats truly believe in the principles of independence, self-reliance and free enterprise secured at such great cost by so many of our citizens over so many years, they will revoke all “affordable” housing laws, initiatives and deed restrictions. Only then can they in good conscious celebrate Independence Day in 2009.

Robert Miner

Steamboat Springs

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Stagecoach, or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates.
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