Letter: Blame for housing woes | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Blame for housing woes

I’m a landlord in Garfield County and have been since 2001. I strongly disagree with Dave Heyliger regarding his opinion that undocumented workers are causing our housing shortage. I’m sorry, Dave, but I don’t see any merit in your argument.

I own several two-bedroom condominium rental units with limited parking and reasonable rents. I do not check citizenship status as it is against federal laws regarding discrimination.

Laws already exist. It starts with the employer. Employers may be fined in Colorado for hiring illegal workers of $5,000 per worker. Paperwork needs to be submitted to the state within 20 days of hiring a worker. That being said, when Social Security finds an error in the SS number, it sends a letter instructing the employer to ask again for the number or to have the employee make corrections. The letters I have seen, although it was some time ago, state you may not fire the worker.

Most rental property owners are like me. We wish to protect our properties by limiting the number of individuals who may reside in a unit and also by limiting the number of vehicles that can park on the property. Rent is not based on occupancy. I do not allow more than four people to reside in one of my units. I once rented to four boys from Moldova. Although I suspected it, I could not prove they had five men living there. All I was able to do was to not renew the lease.

Most folks living so tightly are families. Most of those who rent single bedrooms to whole families are from cultures where it is normal to live with extended family. This is their culture. We could have more laws regulating housing, but I think they already exist through the health department.

If you wish to place blame, put it on a government that refuses to enforce existing laws, or put it on the politicians who deregulated the banks for the benefit of the 1 percent, prompting the housing collapse. Since then, I haven’t had any trouble finding excellent renters who can no longer afford to own. Sorry folks, no vacancy, valley is full. Time for employers to take action.

Barb Forrest


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