CARBONDALE, Colo. (AP) — A homeless town leader in a community that has seen surging home prices thanks to spillover from nearby Aspen, Colorado, may have to give up her seat unless she can find a place she can afford.
Carbondale Trustee Katrina Byars says she lost the home she rented for $1,575 a month after it was put up for sale and has been unable to find a home for her and her two teenage children in the town. In the meantime, she and her children have split up to sleep at the homes of various friends for the last month and have had to give up their dog.
"I feel like my situation is a very public example of a housing crisis that is happening to all of us," Byars told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (http://bit.ly/1VwDax1 ).
The single mother said she has struggled to find work after getting her undergraduate degree and is working on a master's degree in environmental policy and law.
She has found an efficiency apartment for $700 a month, but it is on the street that marks Carbondale's border and the building is just outside town limits. She has applied for it and if she is approved and takes it, she would have to resign her position.
The former farming and coal mining community was once considered an affordable bedroom community for people who worked in nearby ski resorts and other businesses catering to visitors, but it has become a destination itself with pricey second homes. The average single family home sold for about $749,461 in 2015, up 4 percent from 2014.
Many middle-class residents who are attracted to the area's beauty and outdoor lifestyle have to work second jobs, share houses with several roommates or drive long commutes to work because of the rising prices.
Information from: Post Independent, http://www.postindependent.com/