Denver's Endless Growth
The metro area of Denver is in the top 10 nationwide for two things – having the worst air pollution, and for having built the most apartments in the past decade. A total of 61,700 units have been built by endless construction in Denver since 2010. Additionally, more than 52,000 units are currently in the works or planned in metro area. Most all of the developers are not building these to help low-income people, even though that's their common argument on why they "need" to build skyrises in our neighborhoods.
According to the 2017 U.S. Census, there are an estimated 19,452 unoccupied housing units in the city. At the same time, according to the 2019 Point in Time Survey, there are approximately 3,943 people experiencing homelessness in Denver on any given night. Although it is likely, with the pandemic, that the number of people experiencing homelessness will increase greatly in 2020. And all of these thousands of new units are not going to be affordable for them. The developers aren't building units to help people, they are doing it to make money to rent or sell to high-income residents.
“We could literally house the entire population of people experiencing homelessness in Denver alone with the vacant rate and market luxury apartments. It's like a gut-punch every time I say it out loud,”
says Cathy Alderman, director of policy and communications for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
That's a whopping five empty housing units
for every homeless person in Denver.
According to Natrience Bryant, a deputy director at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the greatest need for housing is with the lowest income brackets, even though the highest end is primarily what's being built in the private market. Denver would need over 26,000 additional units with monthly payments below $487 to have enough affordable housing for those whose incomes are below 30 percent of the area median income of $65,000.
But that's not what they are building.
Check out just some of the development that is currently underway, and the city planners and greedy developers are chomping at the bit to build along East Colfax and everywhere they can find inexpensive properties. They tell us it's for us, but don't fall for it. It's a money grab: