Two days after Denver’s historic redevelopment of neighborhoods around the parkland around the Denver Convention Center, residents and activists are beginning to feel a new sense of security and security again in their neighborhoods.
But the city is not immune to gentrification either.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how a handful of developers were building apartments in a vacant, boarded-up building across the street from the convention center.
A few weeks later, a developer was building a two-story apartment building in the same block.
And now there’s a project on the drawing board to convert two apartments in the old apartment building into luxury rental units.
While the new apartments would be the first affordable apartments in Denver, they are also an important milestone.
In the last few years, gentrification has become more common in Denver.
The city saw a 50 percent increase in the number of apartments that were rented to foreign nationals between 2000 and 2016, according to a report from the city of Denver.
Many of those rentals were to foreigners from Russia and the Middle East, who now make up one-fifth of all apartment owners in Denver in 2016.
That influx of foreign-owned apartments has forced the city to grapple with a new reality: a population of low-income, minority, and low-education households that is growing at a faster rate than the overall population.
Many have struggled to find affordable housing in the city, and are often forced to live in the “new” neighborhoods.
And while the city’s rent control program has helped address some of these issues, it is not the only tool it uses to keep residents in their homes.
To address gentrification, Denver is developing a new program that aims to curb displacement and address what many consider a dangerous form of displacement.
The program, dubbed “Affordable Units,” will provide low- and moderate-income renters with affordable units.
It’s being developed by the Denver-based Housing Trust Fund, which also operates a housing assistance program, and was unveiled last month by Mayor Michael Hancock.
According to the city Department of Housing and Community Development, affordable units will be offered to households earning up to 125 percent of the median household income in the area.
In this case, that would mean households earning $75,000 a year.
If the owner earns up to $100,000, the unit would be priced between $1,500 and $1.2 million.
For now, the program is only available in Denver’s downtown, but the city hopes to expand it to other areas.
And because Denver is already one of the most diverse cities in the country, the city has made housing affordable for all residents.
The program is a way to bring the affordable housing concept into the city.
The affordable units are part of the citys efforts to provide housing for the citywide homeless population.
The homeless population has grown by more than 40 percent in Denver since 2011.
About 1,500 people live in Denver as part of Denver’s shelter system, with the city putting in place a program that allows them to rent apartments.
The Homelessness Resource Center also provides housing for people experiencing homelessness.
With affordable housing, the Denver Housing Trust Funds, which help provide rent assistance for low-wage workers, is getting a boost.
Since 2016, the amount the city receives for rental assistance has jumped to more than $9 million, and that number is expected to continue to grow as more people find housing.
“We’re seeing this surge in homelessness in our community,” said Housing Trust President and CEO Jennifer Wojcicki.
“The homelessness crisis is not new, and we’ve been seeing it for a while.
We want to see the city become more of a leader in this effort.”
As with any new housing program, the most challenging part is finding tenants for these units.
Denver Housing has been working with several nonprofits to help find apartments for homeless people in the region.
The goal is to have at least 100 units available for homeless families and single people in a year and a half.
The hope is to provide affordable units to people in need and provide them with a safe and supportive place to live.
Wojccki also said she was pleased to see a group of businesses who were previously considered low-cost tenants step up to fill these spaces.
“It’s a really cool thing to see, and it’s been great for the community,” she said.
The housing program is expected for launch in the spring.
The City Council is expected next month to approve the funding.
For more information on the affordable units, visit the City of Denver website.