DENVER (CBS4) – More families in Denver are speaking out about the lack of housing options within their price range in the city.

Tia Henton, a union organizer, said her family has had trouble finding a low cost home that’s the right fit. She said she makes too much money for government aid but can’t afford the homes that are out there.

“If you don’t make over $60,000 a year, or under $20,000 a year, you’re screwed,” she said.

The only place she can currently afford to live with her three children is her grandparents basement.

CBS4's Stan Bush interviews Tia Henton (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Stan Bush interviews Tia Henton (credit: CBS)

“Being a single mother when you actually work, and you actually get up and go to work and look for jobs. And you get the job. The pay is not enough to live off of,” she said.

New Denver construction accommodating higher earners is pushing lower income families like Henton’s to the brink. At a community meeting on Monday night the issue was discussed, and Councilwoman Robin Kniech said the trend of just moving farther from downtown isn’t a solution.

“It’s not really a winner in the long run. It’s not a winner for those families and it’s not a winner for the city. We need workers of all incomes,” she said.

Kniech wants a new city ordinance requiring developers in Denver’s hot real estate market to set aside units for lower income families or give benefits for people who build for them.

“It’s a regional issue,” Kniech said. “It’s something all the surrounding cities are going to be struggling with as well.”

The new ordinance is supposed to be introduced to City Council next month.


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