Affordable Housing: How The Special Interests Are Getting Their Way By Rebranding “High Density”

By Darcy Schoening
Affordable Housing: How The Special Interests Are Getting Their Way By Rebranding “High Density”

Affordable housing” is a term that sounds noble. HUD defines “affordable housing” as housing that is below the threshold of 30% of an individual’s income. “Affordable” means something different to everyone. Across the state of Colorado, residents are screaming for more affordable housing. 

Builders and developers have created a marketing scheme to sell Coloradoans an issue that doesn’t really exist and isn’t incumbent on the taxpayer or the government to “solve.” The issue then yields unlimited development and often ignores codes and ordinances in favor of building more units. Instead of local governments realizing this ploy to develop every last greenspace into a high density housing development, almost every single legislator in the state, from “conservative” Senators to rural city councilmen, has accepted “affordable housing” as a necessity.

Just look at House Bill 1304 of 2022, which allocates $178 million to build “affordable housing” in Colorado. HB-1304 was co-prime sponsored by Mary Bradfield, a Republican who spent your money to buy your neighbors a new home or rent an apartment for Californians en route to Colorado as we speak. There are a host of other bills, in 2022 alone, that serve as tools of wealth distribution. All told, 2022 bills allocate $500 million to “affordable housing, with another $465 million in tax credits. 

Colorado legislators are spending close to $1 billion dollars of your money this year to make housing “more affordable.” More affordable for whom, exactly? For the hundreds of thousands of Californians and Illinoisans fleeing the socialist nightmares they created to come HERE to Colorado. The builders assume that if Coloradoans give up a portion of their paychecks to build housing, out-of-state residents will come here to purchase such inexpensive housing. 

Why not? If you build it, they will come. 

Forget making the state economy more affordable…our lawmakers haven’t yet learned that more and more intervention leads to a weaker economy. 

When Polis shut down hundreds of businesses in 2020-2021, he knew exactly what he was doing, which was creating a cycle of dependency and government handouts. What happened to rugged individualism, personal accountability, and the American Way?

Colorado threw the American way out the window, touting housing grants as a solution to an economy that showcases closed businesses, $5 gallons of gas, astronomical grocery prices, and missing baby formula. This is Biden and Polis’s disaster, and more “free stuff” is only going to worsen the actual issues…dependency, recession and resulting inflation.

Not to mention, “affordable housing” is just another phrase for high-density housing, which most Coloradoans agree is less than ideal. There is not one housing “project” that in time did not become an eyesore with high crime. 

In Monument, the Board of Trustees recently approved “houses” at almost 21 units per acre, and in nearby Woodmoor, a plan is in the works for apartments at 26 units per acre. Colorado housing is starting to look a lot like China’s master plan in its unchecked density. Will we soon see 4×4’ stacked units with bunk beds sold as “affordable?”

Colorado is in a race to destroy itself in the name of “affordable housing.’ Too many Republicans are caving to the narrative, “if you don’t help shelter people, you are mean, and you don’t care about people.” Actually, the government is most effective when it stays out of the way of people and their money. 

As Monument Trustee, I often hear the voices from the left, “but what about the Arby’s workers? Where are they going to live?”

Most people live wherever they can afford, without government intervention. The recent push to build more apartments under the notion that “now your businesses will have more staff” is incorrect. Every city across the country is experiencing staffing shortages, caused by Polis & Biden’s killing of the economy and handouts via “stimulus checks.” Colorado Springs has plenty of affordable housing, as does Denver. But Arby’s is just as understaffed in those cities as it is everywhere else. Don’t bite on the theory that building more dense housing solves the staffing crisis. It hasn’t, and it never will. 

Monument recently approved 300 more apartment units and 400 more starter homes this month. There are over 1000 more apartment units in the works- for a town with only about 2600 existing units overall. The number of multi-family units in town will increase by over 200 percent in the next few years as those projects come to fruition. Colorado’s population is growing by less than 1 percent annually, so a 200 percent increase in apartments is astronomically out of line. 

Builders are asking the taxpayer to cough up the funds for neighboring Californians and Illinoisans to come right over because then the builders can build more. Both the taxpayer and legislators have been sold one of the greatest marketing schemes of all time, one that will forever have disastrous consequences for the political landscape of Colorado. 

The massive amount of money used to build these housing projects is better spent by the taxpayer than the government. I know Coloradoans could certainly use $1 billion dollars more effectively than this wealth redistribution scheme, and legislators need to start valuing their constituents as highly as they value the developers’ campaign contributions.

There are meaningful solutions for areas that have real housing issues. Human suffering is never okay, and homelessness is a terrifying prospect for 11,000 Coloradoans. I normally advocate for private solutions, not government ones. That said, the push for high density housing has nothing to do with helping people. That’s what’s so bothersome about the entire premise. 

It’s time to see “affordable housing” for what it really is…one of the most successful yet destructive lobbying efforts of all time. 


About the Author:

Darcy Schoening- Monument Trustee, Monument Board of Adjustments, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, Director of Publicity-Pikes Peak Firearms, Chair-Moms for Liberty, Vice President-Sunrise Republican Women, Board-CO Federation of Republican Women….and Mom to Dexter & Alice.