Archuleta County lacks affordable long-term rentals

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Archuleta County is experiencing a housing crisis that is manifesting both in the amount of housing available and the affordability of housing. 

In the coming weeks, The SUN will be running a series of articles investigating the origin and impact of the current housing crisis, as well as seeking out potential solutions.

It is becoming frighteningly evident that Archuleta County is in the midst of a housing crisis.

The majority of rentals are filled to capacity and some boast waiting lists of 40 or more applicants.

Many of Pagosa’s largest employers are struggling to recruit because new employees have no viable housing options.

According to Nancy Williams, director of Justice Ministries, “We have people coming here to work and they cannot find any place to live. They are living in their cars, they are living in tents, they are living in vacant lots with cardboard and blankets.”

Affordable housing is both complex and multifaceted. It is affecting typical middle-class citizens, as well as more vulnerable populations living in poverty. It will take time to fully understand and express the issue itself and how the community can work to change it.

While its affects are being felt across Archuleta County, a lack of affordable housing is not isolated to this community. According to Apartment List’s data scientist, Andrew Woo, Colorado rents are growing significantly faster than the national average.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.