Officials in Denver are fighting to keep the city affordable and livable all in the face of rapid gentrification. Like many other major cities, rents in Denver continue to rise while the number of available properties is declining. As things stand, only highest-wage earners can keep up with the city’s revitalization and economic boom.
Jumpstart 2015, Denver’s strategic economic plan, aims for 600 affordable housing units to be added this year. Mayor Michael Hancock has an ambitions five-year plan to add 3,000 such units.
“All of our residents should have the opportunity to access decent affordable housing in the community in which they work if they so choose,” Hancock said this week.
In addition to housing, Jumpstart 2015 addresses business retention, small-business advocacy, business recruitment, strategic lending, neighborhood development and workforce development. The city aims to create a small business loan fund to help businesses in slow-to-revitalize neighborhoods.
“(We will) be developing policy objectives to ensure that these efforts aren’t just uplifting new commerce, but those already in the neighborhoods as well,” Hancock said. “And I can’t underscore how important that is as we go into these underserved communities.”
Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.