Northeast Denver neighborhood fighting back against redevelopment

Coalition starting a land trust
Posted at 5:42 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 19:42:25-04

DENVER -- For 18 years, Rayamunda Carrenoa has called the Swansea neighborhood home.

“I came to this community because everything was close and I didn’t have to drive,” said Carrenoa. "Living here was comfortable."

The neighborhood is estimated to be around 70 to 80 percent Hispanic.

But Carrenoa says her home isn’t a place of comfort anymore. Her lease is month-to-month and she can be evicted at any time if her apartment gets sold.

“I have no place to go. My son who lives with me has lupus and is on dialysis,” said Carrenoa.

Last year, her landlord raised their rent from $600 to $1,000. Carrenoa isn’t alone: Ten-thousand people living in the Swansea, Globeville and Elyria neighborhoods are living on edge every day.

“The threat of displacement is much higher and much worse,” said GES Community organizer Robin Reichhardt.

Reichhardt says the proposed expansion of I-70, the redevelopment of the Western Stock Show and the shortage in houses has turned the once-overlooked neighborhoods into a hot spot. But the coalition is fighting back by starting a land trust.

“It’s an entity that allows affordable homes and housing in perpetuity. The subsidy stays in the community, stays in the home and that way that house could be sold over and over at an affordable rate below market rate,” said Reichhardt.