Blog post by Hermine Ngnomire, Entrepreneur, Persona Inc.
It has become clear that one of the most pressing needs of our time is housing: affordable and attainable. We are currently in a climate where access to reasonably priced housing is causing a burden on our collective communities. From the least of us to those of us looking to rebuild that once burgeoning middle class, the cost of renting and buying housing is an obstacle that is burdening all facets of our daily lives and all sectors of industry. I am a part of numerous groups throughout Colorado looking to affect the future of housing in a positive way for all and I am most sincerely asking for your help and support.
I belong to groups where my political ideals align and to those where we have little in common, except for the need for more housing and wealth-building opportunities for all of us. Most recent data from the Commonsense Institute shows that Colorado has a cumulative housing deficit that is projected to be nearly 175K units by 2026. There are many solutions being floated about and many fingers pointing at everything from the usual: government and industry. I’m less interested in who’s at fault it is at this point and more interested in what we do move forward.
Based on this, I would like to suggest that while we look to spend a significant portion of our dollars for affordable housing for the least of us, we also look to put in place solutions for those of us who are ready to get to the next level. This means we need to look at affordable housing solutions for those hard workers that are working 40+ hours a week and often more than one job as well as attainable housing solutions for those who have entered into career opportunities that are stable and now wish to put down some roots and get in on entry-level home buying opportunities. What could a future look like for Boulder County when we create solutions that are truly equitable in that they met the needs of each segment of our growing population? This is a perfect case for why we tout equity over equality: for those that need transition housing, we as a community provide a solution; for those that need long-term solutions to help raise families or are in their golden years, we deliver various solutions; and for those that need entry-level buying opportunities, we have completely different offerings. I hope that in the next few years we are able to come together as a community and provide innovative solutions to meet the varying needs of our fellow County neighbors through a balanced approach to leveraging resources from both the private and public sectors.
If any of you are interested and have the bandwidth, I encourage you all to look into the work that is being done in our community around affordable and attainable housing from groups such as Prosper Longmont, East County Housing (ECHO), County Collectives, and more.
I’m begging you to help with these opportunities that all of these groups have for creating a different certain future for us all. From attending City Council meetings to Letters to the Editor and even being a part of these boards or coalitions, I am asking that you please help push things in the direction of equity for all!