One challenge builders face is semantic. The phrase “affordable housing” may call to mind low-income housing built for people on government assistance. The panelists agreed that “attainable housing” may be a more useful descriptor for the types of housing they’re trying to build to serve a wider swath of consumers and keep the economy moving.
The panelists agreed that owning real estate is how everyday people begin growing wealth. The median listing price for homes in Colorado was $400,000 as of November 2017, according to Zillow, with median list prices reaching $464,000 in Denver. Median household income in Colorado is under $66,000, according to the 2016 ACS, the most recent data available.
“It used to be 25% of a paycheck would go to where you live,” Brian Workman of Blind Corners and Curves said. “Now it’s 40% or 50% just to have a place that you can stay out of the rain.”
He added, “The longer we go without addressing those issues, fewer people can buy homes. The fewer people who can buy homes means all of us have less work to do.”
(Photo: Brian Workman by Povy Kendal Atchison)