The Denver skyline is looking increasingly out of reach.EXPAND
The Denver skyline is looking increasingly out of reach.
Lindsey Bartlett

Reader: Everyone Should Be Afforded an Opportunity for Housing

The comments keep coming in regarding our pre-Tax Day story, "Why It's So Hard to Make a Living in Denver Despite Strong Economy." Here's the response from Sam S:

I have lived in Denver going on four years. I enjoy this city a lot and have experienced a lot more activities than my previous twenty years in St. Louis, Missouri. Throughout my four years living here, there is a growing concern about the cost of living when it comes to housing. In May 2014, I rented a one-bedroom apartment that was about 650 square feet for $750 base rent. This apartment was located in Arvada.

Currently, that same apartment has a base rental price for $985. Depending upon what length of time the rental agreement is signed for, that price could increase drastically. This concerns me because the majority of housing options is following this trend of high rental price increases. My current salary allows me to afford apartments priced in the range I mentioned. The concern I have is geared towards members of low social classes whom relied on rental prices four years ago.

Soaring rental prices are making it hard on families and individuals to make a living despite a booming Denver economy. Family dynamics are being compromised because some people are forced to live with strangers who offer cheap rental rates at homes. I believe this is not healthy because that individual with the property can influence the lives of the family in many different ways. Individuals whose salaries are not able to compensate with the increasing prices will eventually be drawn to homelessness or communal living. That is not healthy for anyone, because one's mental health can suffer from being forced to live around others.

Increasing health-care prices, food and other outside sources will make it very difficult for individuals to support themselves or family with the current housing prices. One solution I can think of, which is a big stretch, is regulation of the market. I understand there are current laws in place to allow for an open market. But everyone should be afforded the opportunity for housing without having to pay very overpriced rental agreements that jeopardize their well-being and living state.

Westword occasionally publishes opinion pieces on topics of interest to Denver residents. Interested in submitting one? Send it to editorial@westword.com.

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