Liz Teitz covers housing affordability for the Ouray County Plaindealer, a weekly paper that’s been publishing for over a century in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. Teitz previously covered higher education and state politics for Hearst Connecticut Media Group through the Hearst Journalism Fellowship. She has also covered education for the San Antonio Express-News, and written about local government, schools, courts and disaster recovery in Southeast Texas for the Beaumont Enterprise. Teitz grew up in Rhode Island and has a B.A. in American Studies from Georgetown University.
Beat: Affordable housing issues among the working class in Ouray County
The median home price in Ouray County is more than $400,000 and even those with the most stable jobs, such as police officers and teachers, often cannot afford to live in the community they serve. Families are displaced from their homes when property owners decide to turn houses into short-term vacation rentals to make more money, resulting in lower school enrollment threatening the existence of the Ouray School. Affordable housing gaps also affect local business owners trying to keep their doors open. This Reporter explains the affordable housing problem and its far-reaching consequences for Ouray County. In doing do, the journalist helps shed light on issues and assists in helping the community address its challenges and move forward.