No rezoning is needed in the East Area Plan. The existing 3-5 stories that is currently zoned along Colfax has more than enough room for growth. The ”affordable housing” that the developers keep saying that they want to build can be done with the existing zoning if they really wanted to do it, the only reason they want to change the zoning is so that they can build higher buildings and make MORE MONEY. And, the amount of affordable housing that will be included in these higher buildings is typically just a very small percentage of the building – by increasing the height, that does not mean that they will be building more affordable housing – it just means that they can make more money in the process.
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. Source: Westword
But that's not what they are building. They are building expensive units that most people that they say this will help will not be able to afford. Don't believe the hype – the Developers and many of the people on Next Door who accuse residents of being elitist or racist have no intention or desire to help with affordable housing, they're just trying to make more money.
Join the Open House, September 10th at 6pm for their Virtual Open House if you agree, and help save our neighborhood from the greedy developers! The residents in our area are NOT the ones touting that we need to change the zoning, this is solely being argued for by the developers – we need to represent the people who actually live here: https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/community-planning-and-development/Community_engagement/CPD_Calendar/2020/East_Area_Plan_Virtual_Open_House.html