Craig In order to build a good house, you need a strong base.
In the case of Craig, in order to build a good base for the future, we need some affordable houses.
The average price of homes sold in Craig has more than doubled in the past 10 years, and last year, the average price of a home sold was more than $169,000.
Craig house prices are not as high as Steamboat Springs,' but they are on their way to being higher than many other Colorado communities.
And if you have a high-paying job, such as working in the energy sector, this isn't too bad. You can afford a house in a strong market, which, if you decide to sell, will fetch that much more money.
But, if you're not in that position, there are fewer affordable places to buy or rent.
So, there is a basic problem of supply and demand:
• Limited housing drives up housing prices.
• More people are coming to town as the area's economic growth continues.
• In turn, that puts more strain on the housing shortage, which raises housing prices and could potentially force people out of the community.
Recent events with the Section 8 housing voucher program only highlight this problem even more.
It's good to see that the Craig City Council and Moffat County Commission see the Section 8 voucher program as a real need in the area, but right now, all we have is a stop gap with keeping the program going as well no real answers for a long-term solution to deal with affordable housing.
The latter leaves us with long-term impacts.
But the aforementioned problem of supply and demand leads us to another issue of supply and demand:
• Not enough housing also means workers and businesses looking to relocate here may have to look somewhere more affordable.
• Instead of positive growth with a chance to diversify the economy, we have stagnation.
In short, we will continue to be a community too reliant on the energy industry.
The Editorial Board's stance Wednesday was that many of the pieces are in place for the future of Craig, and someone or some organization needs to step up and help market the area and all of its positive attributes.
But we also need someone or some organization to step up and deal with the housing problem.
Make no mistake, it's great to have all the steps forward going on around us, but if we don't have a place for workers to stay, families to live and for Craig to build a future on, we will continue to be a boom and bust town.
Who will step up?
Will it be the Moffat County Commission?
Perhaps the Moffat County Housing Authority?
The Craig City Council?
Can the Independent Life Center do more?
In the end, there is too big of a demand for someone not to help supply the effort to fix this problem.