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EDITORIAL: Democrats Should Resolve the Housing Dilemma Premium | gazette.com – Colorado Springs Gazette

The Democratic establishment in Colorado, which controls the law and 100% of state office, has a huge and growing problem that it continues to neglect. The party, which seeks to solve some of life's complex challenges – think "income inequality", racism and the uninsured – has observed that the basic need for housing has become a joke among the average young person.

The Democrats controlled the Colorado executive branch, including the legislature, for nearly 15 years for much of that era, and available housing has only become scarcer.

We hear almost nothing about this crisis from legislation that is clearly more concerned with stopping arms sales, hindering the production of natural gas, and subsidizing the rich to buy expensive luxury battery cars that are fraudulent than zero-emission vehicles to be marketed.

Imagine a worker who needs a new or used car. The consumer comes to a nearby car dealer and is inundated with sales reps. Ten salespeople follow her, everyone wants to close the sale. The problem is that the lot only contains three cars. None is in the buyer's price range.

This is exactly what it looks like when most potential buyers are looking for a home in Colorado. Incredibly, the state has more agents than homes for sale, and it's not even close.

Colorado homeowners endure routine calls from brokers, brokers, banks, and investors asking them to sell. Those attracted to these requests, while making good returns, struggle to find a replacement home near their communities, schools, friends, and work.

This could explain why one Monument homeowner launched a humble old modular home – usually a perfect "starter home" – for $ 650,000 this week. A smaller house around the corner recently sold for more than $ 500,000 in a neighborhood characterized by outdated mixed development, cars on blocks, and no neighborhood agreements to meet aesthetic standards.

Zillow has an average home price in Boulder of nearly $ 1 million, an average brought down by many condos and multiplexes, and well over $ 500,000 in Denver. At least one estimate is that the average home price in Colorado Springs exceeds $ 470,000.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and other residents deplore the housing shortage as a looming problem to attract employers who need to know their employees have rooftops at night. Buyers have around 2,000 homes to choose from along the Front Range, north of Colorado Springs to south of Trinidad. That's 2,000 units for sale in a region that is home to most of Colorado's nearly 6 million residents. Almost all sales lead to bidding wars.

Of course, this shortage takes the greatest toll on ethnic minorities, as lack of income and poverty continue to weigh disproportionately on their communities.

You worry about people in need of homes, but don't overlook a good chunk of Colorado's 22,000 realtors who are likely wondering how to pay their mortgages and bills. Real estate sellers don't make money unless they're selling houses.

To understand the rate at which this problem is worsening, the Front Range had 10,000 homes on the market in March a year ago. In most front range cities, the real estate inventory has decreased by about 80% by a year.

"Last year we complained that we didn't have the inventory and couldn't believe it could possibly get lower, but it certainly did," said Kelly Moye, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Association of Realtors, as reported by Fox 31 cited Denver.

That's not normal. In a healthy free market, builders and those who invest in them would see this as an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on meeting demand. While builders work fast and furiously, it is not enough.

Pandemic stimulus checks, federal safety regulations, liability for workplace injuries, schools that are no longer offering shop classes, and other factors have resulted in deteriorating labor shortages in the construction sector. We are in the midst of a pandemic-induced shortage of sawn timber and other building materials.

Additionally, Colorado has a construction defects bill on its books that makes speculative construction of entry-level homes – like condos, townhouses, and townhouses – a financial risk that most chooses against. The law has long been a gift from Democratic politicians, who they know as a crucial constituency donating to campaigning, to predatory litigators who cannot find meaningful work.

In addition to these anti-housing forces, Colorado’s penchant for using environmental concerns to impede nearly all efforts to build what people need to live. Just ask anyone who has tried to develop shelter too close to common field mice (the kind that jump) or colonies of prairie dogs. In the face of Druthers radical environmental activists, humans would never bother vermin easily, even if they provided shelter for a low-income family struggling to survive. It's a classic NIMBYism of the "I-got-mine" crowd, but disguised as caring and compassion for a bigger cause. Just stop for the love of humanity.

This is a regulatory dilemma in a state regulated by a political party. If the politicians of this party hope to retain power through elections in the future, they must solve this problem.

The legislature must take a tough break from its pretend witch hunt for racism and its crusade against energy, just long enough to take care of people who want and need places to live. If the left cannot resolve it, Colorado faces a dire future socially, culturally and economically.

The editorial staff of the newspaper

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