Inadequate wages contribute to housing crisis


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

The SUN is running a series of articles investigating the origin and impact of the current housing crisis, as well as seeking out potential solutions.

One cannot speak to the affordability of housing without speaking to the impact of wages on an individual or family’s ability to rent or purchase housing.

Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado is currently working to finish its second home-owner study, which examines the cost of various forms of housing and the livable wage a family or individual must make to afford this housing.

According to Deputy Director Laura Lewis, the Housing Index 2015 is not yet complete, but she provided The SUN with a draft, which includes a section on southwest Colorado. All data is up-to-date, according to Lewis.

The document states, “A healthy community is one in which families and individuals of all income levels live in safe and affordable housing. Housing experts agree that ideally a family should not spend more than one-third of their income on housing costs.”

The study presents both the cost of rental units in southwest Colorado communities and for-sale home prices, and the minimum annual income a person must generate to afford these costs.

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.