Here are Aaron Neyer’s answers to Boulder Housing Network’s four questions:
1. Where does housing rank amongst your priorities for the three-year term you are seeking? What housing policies or programs will you advocate to include in Council’s 2024-2025 work plan?
Housing is an integral area that we have to get focused on. It is for me deeply interwoven with climate solutions, transportation innovation, and restoring diversity; all of which are prime focuses for my campaign. I will advocate for prioritizing updating zoning laws to allow for more effective and more creative densification (let’s experiment with tiny house villages that prioritize access to services and community spaces and allow for car-free communal living). Further I will advocate for reforming our permitting processes to ensure we are able to effectively and efficiently support our community being able to build more housing.
2. Where and by what means during your three year term should Boulder create more middle-income housing? By middle-income housing, we mean housing that is attainable to households earning $80,000 to $150,000 a year.
I would advocate for taking a fresh look at the middle-income housing plan that the council just shot down a few weeks ago. I think that it’s possible to include some of the good parts of what they were working on without all the sacrifices the council wasn’t willing to accept. We need to prioritize working with developers to ensure developers are able to build and that we are building an effective diversity of housing options that works for low, middle and high income Boulderites. Further we need to ensure that we are ensuring that low and middle income housing is reaching who it needs to ensure a healthy and diverse city; this means making sure that we are able to house people who live in Boulder such as police and health and service workers, and it also means ensuring we are able to house people who are historically under-represented in Boulder such as many people of color.
3. What would you like to tell our subscribers that you will do during your three year term to create housing that is at least somewhat affordable for middle-income residents?
I will work to foster strong relationships, between the city, the people, and the developers; to ensure that we are working in unison to get people the housing that they need and I will work intently with city staff to ensure that we are putting in place programs that support this.
4. What are the biggest obstacles to creating the type of housing that you have just discussed, and what role can City Council play in removing them?
Money, but more than just money is greed. Many developers are more concerned with making as much profit as possible than they are with ensuring people are housed. We need to be building relationships with developers who are truly interested in helping and who have the know-how to do it in a way that is economically viable and sustainable. Through these relationships we can foster more effective collaboration that gets to the root of the problem and from that builds the housing that we need.