Panelists come together with community to discuss affordable housing issue

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There continues to be a need for affordable housing in southern Colorado, and a panel of experts explored the size and scope of the issue Wednesday, Feb. 21. 

With hardly an empty seat in the house, most people in the audience just wanted to know when something was going to happen with the issue. 

Dan Martin, who lives in Broadmoor Bluffs, and is on the Neighborhood Association, said he wants to know why affordable housing is proposed to go into his neighborhood.

“It’s not that we disagree with the need for affordable housing,” Martin said. “What we disagree with is where they’re putting it. Why put it where it’s not needed?”

City Councilmember Jill Gaebler said a lot of people feel the same way.

“Nobody wants change in their neighborhood, nobody wants a different type of housing product in their neighborhood,” she said.

The panel at the community conversation wants people to know things are happening in the project. 

“We expect to see over 500 units come online by the end of 2018, and we’re expecting another 450 to 500 units to come online in 2019,” said Steve Posey, City HUD Administrator.

Laura Nelson, with the Apartment Association of southern Colorado, added, “It’s not something that we can solve overnight, but I think it’s a community issue and we’re definitely gonna need a community solution.”

The panel is working together on making affordable housing prices be no more than one-third of your salary. 

“We have to do a better job supporting all of our community members,” Gaebler added.

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