North Denver residents worry new construction may push them from neighborhoods

Worried residents are fighting back against being pushed out.

What some outsiders see as positive progress in one section of Denver is seen in a different way by those who live there. Those in several north Denver neighborhoods are taking a stand in hopes of taking back control.

9NEWS heard from those who are worried they may be forced out of the place they've called home.

For nearly 50 years, Candy Morton has called this neighborhood home and that spans generations.

“My son lives right across the street, I was fortunate enough for him to by that home and get to watch my grandbabies grow up,” Morton said.

What was once a quiet area is being drowned out by new construction.

“We have had more people moving into the neighborhood, more companies moving to the neighborhood, we have had builders,” Morton said.

She said that reminds her of another area she watched change.

“It's moving this way and I hate to see it move that way, we don't want to end up like the Highlands. We want to stay a small community of family and friends and people we have known all our lives,” Morton said.

Rey Gallegos, is part of the Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea Coalition, a group of residents who want to take charge in their community.

“We are in the process of getting our own community land trust,” Gallegos said.

The coalition released a survey of the three neighborhoods and it showed a large portion to be low income.

“A lot of this community is basically in poverty, most of the community makes less than 25 thousand dollars a year,” Gallegos said.

This makes it difficult for residents to find affordable housing.

“What is affordable now that's the big question, what affordable in Cherry Creek, is nowhere near affordable to someone living in Globeville,” Gallegos said.

Regardless if they rent or own, it's a problem the entire community is facing.

“We own our homes so what's happening with the homeowners is eventually the taxes are going to get us,” Morton said.

With projects like the Interstate 70 expansion, the National Western Center, and RTD's A-line right in the back yard of many of these homes, people fear being pushed out.

Morton said she won’t let that happen to her.

“When I leave I'm leaving feet first, that the only way I'm going out,” Morton said.
The Coalition has meetings open to residents once a month where they also meet with city leaders.

Here is the statement from the cities NDCC:

The North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC) is sensitive to the complex challenges that the communities of Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea face as our city goes through economic growth. We welcome continued discussion with the GES Coalition in our collective desire to build physical and civic infrastructure that supports the well-being of all residents. The NDCC met with the GES Coalition last month to review the research and results released in yesterday’s report. The survey released yesterday by the GES Coalition mirrored similar results that we’ve seen in other studies. Our new executive director, Tim Sandos, also met with the GES Coalition last week to hear their ideas around a potential development of a community land trust to address the affordable housing needs of the GES community. As identified previously by Erik Soliván, Denver Office of HOPE, the use of the land trust is one of the many tools that the City is considering in our work to address affordability.

North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative, Mayor’s Office | City and County of Denver.

For more information on the results of the survey or to attend a coalition meeting visit GEScoalition.com.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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