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New report ranks Denver for gentrification

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition released the report ranking Denver the second-most gentrified city in the nation.

DENVER — A report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) ranks Denver as the second-most gentrified city in the nation.

The report looked at the percentage of eligible neighborhoods gentrifying between 2013 and 2017, according to a release from the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC).

Denver ranks second, just behind San Francisco & Oakland, with 27% of its eligible neighborhoods gentrifying during that period.

> The video above is a story on Northside, a play about gentrification and displacement.

“Our report found that most cities in the U.S. are suffering from a lack of investment and not gentrification. This is not the case in Denver,” said Jesse Van Tol, CEO of NCRC. “In a previous report, we ranked Denver as the 18th-most intensely gentrified city from 2000-2013. Now, it is second. With COVID-19 causing economic hardships for millions of Americans, the work of Urban Land Conservancy is even more vital for low- and moderate-income communities facing displacement in and around the city.”

While the total number of gentrifying neighborhoods in Denver is lower than other cities like New York and Phoenix, which rank seventh and ninth, respectively, any number over zero is bad news from the perspective of ULC and other organizations that work to combat displacement and preserve affordability throughout metro Denver and surrounding areas, the NCRC said in their release.

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“When I began at Urban Land Conservancy in 2007, our most urgent need was to neutralize future displacement by purchasing properties along transit corridors in at-risk neighborhoods," said  Aaron Miripol, president & CEO of ULC. "The Great Recession that occurred in 2008/09 was like kerosene on the fire for many of Denver’s already vulnerable neighborhoods with rampant foreclosures leaving communities open to an ‘investment grab’—the precursor to our receiving the #2 status in the report. Sadly, the current COVID-19 pandemic is yet another dousing of kerosene enlarging the flame of an already wide gap between the supply (and demand) for affordable housing.”

To accomplish its goals, ULC uses a Community Land Trust (CLT) model as a means to ensure long-term neighborhood stability. CLTs can be used for many types of development, including commercial and rental housing, which ULC provides.

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