The Home Front: A housing market on ‘thin ice,’ declining teen pot use and the chaos of winter storms

Rapidly rising mortgage rates have Colorado housing markets “skating on thin ice,” the Denver Post writes today. “Home affordability in Colorado’s largest metro counties, with the exception of Mesa County, has dropped to its lowest levels in nine years,” which, combined with the associated high mortgage rates, “are expected to put a home purchase out of reach next year for a larger number of buyers, especially first-timers.”

Pitkin County commissioners hope the purchase of a mobile home park will help address the problem, writes the Aspen Times. “‘I don’t know how we can not move forward with this,” said Commissioner George Newman, noting that preventing 60 people from being evicted is a “classic example” of the county taking care of its residents.'”

A new working group convened in Boulder yesterday to advise City council on important issues related to homelessness, the Daily Camera reports. The group will address food, shelter, providing a path towards permanent housing and, as winter temperatures drop, how best to provide emergency services for the hundreds of people living in the city without permanent housing at any given time.

Marijuana use among Colorado teenagers has dropped slightly since legalization, The Gazette in Colorado Springs reports. Federal data shows use of the drug to be in “mild decline,” though teen pot use is still higher here than in any other state. That trend existed before legalization.

A new oil and gas permitting policy has some Weld County residents worried about increased drilling near neighborhoods. “To get a new Weld County permit, developers will only have to prove they tried to work with nearby landowners,” reports the Fort Collins Coloradoan. The new policy, which has been “significantly scaled back” in terms of requirements for oil and gas operators, has been praised by industry groups.

Two impending winter storms could bring chaos to holiday travelers, reports the Durango Herald. “The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory from 5 p.m. Thursday to 8 a.m. Friday for areas above 7,000 feet.”

Hobby Lobby is investigating a customer’s allegation of harassment at a Longmont store, the Longmont Times-Call reports.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel fronts a story today about the retrial of Lester Ralph Jones, who is suspected for a 2007 murder of a local woman. Deliberations begin today.

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.