Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and his wife Mary Louise Lee enjoy an event kicking off Hancock’s re-election campaign at Battery 621, February 03, 2015. (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)As valued redevelopment and revitalization spurred by Denver’s economic boom threaten to make the city unaffordable for all but the highest wage earners, the city wants to make sure future development has a minimal impact on residents, city officials said Thursday.”All of our residents should have the opportunity to access decent affordable housing in the community in which they work if they so choose,” Mayor Michael Hancock said Thursday as he announced a study of gentrification in the city.The study, part of Jumpstart 2015, the city’s annual strategic economic plan, will examine how revitalization affects residents — especially those in the low-income range — and use the information to develop plans to ensure that neighborhood-revitalization efforts are equitable.While housing is at the core of Jumpstart 2015, the plan also sets goals in six other areas: business retention, small-business advocacy, business recruitment, strategic lending, neighborhood development and workforce development.The city intends to create a new small-business loan fund and increase lending for health care, manufacturing and logistics businesses in slow-to-revitalize neighborhoods, including Sun Valley and Elyria-Swansea, and in the rapidly growing River North area.
“(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.”Jumpstart 2015 includes the ambitious goal of adding 600 affordable-housing units this year. The mayor has a goal of adding 3,000 such units over the next five years.
But questions remain about whether that effort may be too little, too late. In the next 10 years, Denver could see growth of up to 100,000 people, according to the mayor’s office. Recent studies have shown that rents in Denver continue to rise out of the reach of most of the city’s residents, while the real estate market continues to tighten for buyers — the number of available homes for purchase decreased 34 percent last month compared with … – Click Here To Visit Article Source