Safe, Suitable, Affordable Housing in Crisis
This originally appeared on https://www.facebook.com/BakerforChaffee
"Where there is no vision, the people perish." - Proverbs 29:18
There's no worse feeling than being proven right by a disaster after your calls for action went unheeded.
Some people in our county sounded the alarm about an impending housing crisis 10-12 years ago. We were overruled by those who said there was no cause for concern, the free market would take care of everything, even if that meant people earning minimum wage would somehow commute from Saguache, Leadville, or Fairplay to work in our businesses. Now we have a full-blown, in extremis housing crisis on our hands, one that will take extraordinary measures to even begin to overcome. We are not in damage-prevention mode; we are in damage control mode.
We even had a blessing-in-disguise - the Great Recession - to give us a strategic pause and time to prepare with visionary policies and public-private, community-wide coordination and cooperation.
Now we have employers who can't keep staff because their employees can't find safe, suitable, housing that is affordable. We aren't talking luxuries here - we're talking the lower levels of Mazlow's Hierarchy of Human Needs. Anyone who looked around the West could have seen this coming, yet somehow we thought we were more clever, more blessed, somehow exceptional.
Self-styled economics experts should know prevention is more efficient and less costly than repair and recovery. Didn't we learn maxims like "an ounce of prevention prevents a pound of cure" and "a stitch in time save nine" at the feet of our family values-driven elders?
The time to prevent a crisis is when there is still time and opportunity to do so.