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  • Writer's pictureBETCH

Housing Affordability And Environment

Building more housing on single family parcels doesn't require skyscrapers.

Because land in Chaffee County is so expensive, adding more homes on each parcel reduces housing costs for each household. Adding more homes to low-density neighborhoods can increase walkability and help support local businesses that depend heavily on foot traffic. Local retail that households can access without driving helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the largest driver of climate change and air pollution. And with good planning, increased density won’t mean more parking issues, in fact, more housing within walking distance could help alleviate our parking problem downtown.

Did you know? Housing density can make a positive impact when it comes to our environment, even if many would have us believe the opposite is true.

First of all, higher density living (if planned correctly) makes city centers more accessible by foot & bike, which in turn decreases traffic, clearing pollutants in our air. Folks living in single-dwelling units increasingly far away from the city center are forced to commute by car, and consume more of our natural resources & lands than higher-density dwellings. (

Furthermore, when groups of people live in high-density settings, the maintenance of utilities is beneficial to many more folks at a time than creating or maintaining infrastructure for single dwellings. Not to mention density can actually lower the costs of heating & cooling for occupants, as multiple units share the same insulated building. (

Studies have shown that housing costs are actually LOWERED when a wide variety of housing options are made available, and by providing housing that suits a variety of lifestyles, allows residents to suit their changing needs over the course of a lifetime. (

The question shouldn’t be whether or not to have housing density, but rather what does it look like & how will we create it?

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