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Now homeless, disabled Denver woman says new development and lack of housing is at fault

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jul 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 00:40:46-04

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. — It’s an exciting time in Denver. Everywhere you look, buildings are going up, and developers can’t buy up the land fast enough. 

What you don't see behind all those plans are the people possibly displaced that are finding it increasingly hard to find affordable places to live.

Consider Sheridan Boulevard at the intersection of Lakewood and Denver's Sloan neighborhood.

On a corner lot up the street from Sloan’s Lake, there are plans for a multi-family apartment complex called Lakewood Heights at Sloan’s Lake. 

Sixty-six-year-old Katie Tate is disabled and struggling to make ends meet. After 16 years, Tuesday is her last night at her rental home on that land. 

Developer Sagebrush Companies notified her they had purchased it in 2016.

"I’ve been in such a deep state of depression he’s all that kept me going," said Tate.

The new landlords have given her 15 months to find a place, but she told Denver7 said it’s nearly impossible. She is estranged from her family and only has her dog as a companion.

"Not realizing how hard this was. How little availability there is out there, and there’s got to be a lot of people like me. Baby boomers are living on Social Security. We got nowhere to go," said Tate.

Housing is a hot topic here in the Denver metro. Affordable housing seems harder to come by depending on who you ask. 

In Mayor Hancock's State of the City, he committed to creating and preserving nearly 5,000 affordable homes, apartments and condos citywide. He also plans to place 6,000 homeless families and individuals into housing.

We asked Denver7 followers on Facebook about the difficulty or ease they may have with finding affordable housing. Sheila Titter said she knows someone like Tate in a similar situation that pays $750 a month.

"..No place is that cheap and there is a 2 year wait for low income housing in the metro area. It's insane!"

Back to Tate and Sagebrush Companies. Tate represents a population of people that are one step away from homelessness.

The developer told Denver7 she even stopped paying rent months ago, but the new landlords still allowed her to stay. She's now being evicted as the company needs to begin acting on their investment into the community.

So what happens to people like Tate? Where do they go? Tuesday night, neighbors helped her move out of the home and into a homeless shelter. 

She will be placed into a lottery for long-term stays, but after that it’s unknown.

"There needs to be affordable housing for people like me," said Tate.