The time to act on affordable housing in Edgewater is now because the window to see any meaningful change is quickly closing. With our work on the Jefferson Success Pathway, we have been tracking rental rates and home prices in the 80214 area. We track these because 9 in 10 children that attend schools in the area are from a family that makes less than $44,955 a year (based on a family of four). The median rent is now $1,875 a month. That means that half of the paycheck goes to rent.
When parents are stressed about income challenges, this impacts children and their success in school. The rising rents also mean that families sending their children to our schools have to move out of the area. This impacts enrollment numbers in our schools as well.
Rising rents also impact those who work in our supermarkets, bars and other retail spots around town. It is becoming harder and harder for businesses to hire workers in entry level jobs. This will impact our local economy.
Sadly this impacts our social servants as well. Teachers can no longer afford to live in our area. Police officers and firefighters can’t afford Jefferson County. Those who are retired struggle to find housing too.
In Edgewater we have a large vacant property on the northeast side of 20th Avenue and Depew Street. The City of Edgewater owns the land and is looking at options for developing this last large plot in Edgewater. As the new Edgewater Civic Center is completed next fall, the City will look to sell their properties at 25th Avenue and Gray Street as well as the Municipal Building at 24th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard.
The time to act is now. We need to build community support for affordable housing in Edgewater. It is within the control of the City of Edgewater to lift up the value of creating a community that is open to those of mixed incomes.
But this will not be an easy task. There a number of myths about affordable housing such as its impact on property values and crime. Click here for a great mythbusting article on affordable housing.
Join us on Saturday morning, August 19 at 10 am as we start this conversation about action steps we can take to make sure that our community is open to those of different incomes. We will meet at our office at 5220 W. 25th Avenue to discuss this issue and what we can do about it.
Action Steps for Affordable Housing in Edgewater
Saturday, August 19
Edgewater Collective Office (5220 W. 25th Avenue)