Population boom forcing low-income families out

Posted at 9:51 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 23:56:48-04

With an estimated 1,000 people moving to Denver every month, there is no doubt Denver is the place to be.

“Denver is the fastest growing city in the country,” said Denver office of Economic Development executive director, Paul Washington.

Washington says with that growth comes not just the benefits but problems.

“Low- and moderate-income families are being forced out because Denver has become so popular,” said Washington.

These issue are better known as gentrification. Just over the last four years, rent in Denver has gone up by 33 percent and home prices in the last year saw a 12 percent increase.

Washington says over a third of Denver neighborhoods are considered "at risk of gentrification."

Mary Morrow lives at Five Points which is one of the at-risk neighborhoods. Morrow says things have changed over the last couple of years.

“I bought my house 16 ½ years ago for $97,000 because nobody wanted to live here. I mean anybody that had the money got out,” said Morrow.

Morrow says most of her old neighbors have moved out due to high rent.

“If I hadn't bought my place for $97,000 and have an $800 mortgage, I don't know what I would do,” said Morrow.

The Office of Economic Development is now recommending the city invest more in affordable house throughout Denver to prevent the problem from spreading throughout the vibrant city.