HOPE's Recent Efforts to Combat Housing Issues
By Angelica Raya
Members from the Hope Team posing in front of Boyd School
Housing issues is one of the priorities that the HOPE team is currently working on. The team members have been establishing partnerships, and supporting actions around housing. As mentioned before in the previous blog, “Improving Housing, Improves Health,” in the SLV, “the average income for a single household or an individual renting does not appropriately correlate to current rental costs. More than 50% of SLV renters have incomes below $28,400, meaning that in order to afford housing, the rent would have to be below $710 monthly. However, most rentals in the SLV go for up to $1,300 depending on whether it is an apartment or a single-family home, and how many bedrooms.”
Keeping that in mind, one of the actions that the team has taken towards housing affordability includes attendance to the City Council meetings about Short Term Rentals in Alamosa. The City is proposing additional regulations to reduce the increasing impacts of short-term rental (STR) units, otherwise known as vacation rentals, VRBOs, and AirBnBs. The proposed ordinance includes additional licensing requirements and a 300-foot separation between new STR units. The team has expressed support for this regulation since we believe having so many AirBnBs in town has limited the availability for working residents to have access to housing.
The HOPE team is joining different coalitions to be able to bring housing affordability to Alamosa. One of those is being a member of Housing Colorado, which is a statewide membership organization committed to providing advocacy, professional development and issue expertise for the affordable housing community. By being part of the Housing Colorado, the team members have access to data, contacts from other groups that are focusing on the same issues, plus access to trainings on how to bring housing affordability to Alamosa. Secondly, the team has joined with SLV Housing Coalition (SLVHC) and their efforts on the Boyd School project; the team members have participated by giving their opinions on which of the 3 blueprints would work best and be more efficient for the community. Also, the team took a tour of Boyd School in early May 2022 to get a better idea and understanding on what the SLVHC is hoping to accomplish. During the tour, HOPE community leaders had the opportunity to ask questions from Dawn Melgares, executive director of SLVHC. For example: How many apartment units are expected to be built? Will the units be easily accessible to people with disabilities? What are the next steps and how can the Alamosa HOPE team support this future project? All of which to Dawn Melgares was very happy to respond to. The HOPE team is eager to support and partner with SLVCH.
The team is working very hard to accomplish its goal to bring affordable housing to Alamosa by continuously working with other organizations, coalitions, and the City Council to bring solutions to a problem that is affecting a great portion of Alamosa residents.
If you are intrigued to see how HOPE’s future projects will unfold, follow us on our social media platforms to celebrate the team’s accomplishments along the way!