Taos is not the only place!
It’s no secret that there is a housing crisis all over the United States. While thousands and thousands of people have lost their homes, others stand empty. Many people, even though employed, STILL cannot afford to rent an apartment, much less a house.
Why? The main cause is the greed of landlords. While the supposed rule of thumb is that rent should comprise 30 percent or so of a person’s income, very many people are paying 50 percent or more. Everyone wants one simple answer.
There aren’t any.
But here’s one suggestion: Within a half mile of where I live, I know of four derelict houses. And there are such houses all over Taos County. (And all over the nation). Some are too far gone. But some could be repaired. There needs to be a program whereby the owners could get very low interest or no-interest loans to repair the property and make it rentable if they agree to make it a reasonable rent, i.e. 30 percent of the tenant’s income, with a preference for low income and elderly persons or families.(Such a program would also provide some employment for the building trades.)
Since I started discussing this issue, two friends have said that their landladies are cooperative ones. So, as in among all others, there is good and bad!
Still, while it hasn’t quite happened, it’s on it’s way: Taos could very well become like Aspen or other resort communities: very high rents – and the people who do the work – the restaurant/ hotel/ service employees live in trailer parks miles away.
Is that the future we want for Taos?
– Joanne Forman, Ranchos de Taos