ASPEN REAL ESTATE — Affordable housing can now be bought and sold as a commodity on the free market by developers who don’t want to pay the city’s fees or build it themselves, the Aspen City Council decided Monday.The council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the land-use code that allows for affordable housing credits to be transferred. As a result, a developer can purchase a credit for affordable housing that has already been built and occupied.Just how much the credits could be worth is dependent on what the market will bear, and will be influenced by supply and demand.Under the new program, a developer would likely explore the market for affordable housing credits to find out if they could negotiate a lower price than the cost of constructing new units or buying down existing free-market units, according to Ben Gagnon, the city’s special project planner.
By Carolyn Sackariason, March 23, 2010

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