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Posted on: August 9, 2018

Aspen’s affordable housing program recommends fines up to $5,000 for scofflaws

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The fines for affordable housing scofflaws are becoming more punitive now that proposed penalty fees for common violations range from $250 to $5,000.

The majority of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority board agreed last week to establish the steep fine structure, which would go into effect in 2019, although board member Dallas Blaney was vocal in his opposition.

"I'm concerned about the level of fines," especially for the first and second violations, he said. "$250 is way excessive."

Blaney quoted a statistic that 44 percent of adults in this country can't cover expenses without borrowing money. He also noted that Pitkin County has one of the highest suicide rates per capita in the country.

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