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Aspen Council to take up possible affordable housing changes

Courtesy Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority

On Tuesday, Aspen City Council will consider whether to change affordable housing requirements for certain residential development.  The City hired a Boulder consulting firm to review affordable housing requirements triggered when someone tears down a house, or duplex, and builds a new one that has more square feet of residential floor area. It’s the first review of the housing requirements since 1990.

After running the numbers, the firm recommends cutting the number of required affordable housing units in half. The planning department agrees with the recommendation, but wants to expand the pool of projects that would require affordable housing. Like remodels, and expansions to townhomes and condos.

Aspen’s City Council will also consider phasing out allowing developers to pay cash to meet affordable housing requirements, and whether to discontinue what’s called accessory dwelling units. Those are apartments built to meet housing requirements, and more often left empty, rather than being rent out to local workers.

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