LEADVILLE, Colo. — At Leadville City Hall, Mayor Greg Labbe says the historic mountain town is now like a lot of Colorado towns dealing with rising housing prices.
“People who live and work in the city of Leadville can’t afford to buy a house,” said Labbe. “If we don’t have a place for people to live, we can’t take care of our community. It’s that dire.”
That has the town taking its first steps into the world of affordable housing so that it can hire employees.
City Administrator Laurie Simonson said the town has purchased one of its oldest historic Victorian homes for $795,000 to be used as employee housing.
“It is about $250 per square foot, where homes around town are going for a minimum of $350 per square foot,” said Simonson.
The house was a bed-and-breakfast for decades, so the five rooms and furniture are ready to go and will be the first of more affordable housing plans to come.
“We have a lot of plans in place to build affordable housing, attainable housing, even low-income housing in the next two to five years,” said Labbe.
Some neighbors have expressed concern about using the house as employee housing, with worries over parking and noise.
Mayor Labbe says the city is working on parking solutions for the fulltime Leadville residents who will live there.
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