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Carbondale Trustee Advocated For Affordable Housing Before Becoming Homeless

By Matt Kroschel

CARBONDALE, Colo. (CBS4) - The affordable housing crisis is impacting people in communities across Colorado, including a town trustee in Carbondale.

Carbondale trustee Katrina Byars tells CBS4 she has advocated for more affordable housing over her two years tenure on the board of trustees. But she never expected to find herself and her two teenage children homeless.

Byars says the rental home her family lived for the last several years has been put up for sale with the owners wanting to cash in on the real estate market boom.

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CBS4's Matt Kroschel interviews Katrina Byars (credit: CBS)

"I don't blame my landlord, this is their retirement investment property," said Byars.

But with no affordable prospects to be found inside the district she represents, Byars may have to choose between her service to the community with her position on the board and providing her family shelter.

There are residency requirements which Byars must meet. If Byars moves outside the district she will be forced to step down from her position.

Byars said her two teenage children are finding shelter with friends by couch surfing while she bunks with friends.

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(credit: CBS)

Byars was elected to the board two years ago. In 2014 she received her undergraduate degree from Colorado Mountain College in sustainability.

Unfortunately, finding a job has been difficult. Byars said that in the last six months she has applied for about 30 jobs.

Byars discussed her situation and expressed empathy for those in similar situations in a letter to the editor in the Post Independent earlier this week.

"This is a very personal and frustrating situation, I felt it was my duty to share our story so people realize this housing crisis is hurting a lot of us," Byars said.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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