Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, hous­ing and the chang­ing face of Den­ver

The Denver Post - - PERSPECTIVE -

Re: “Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion,” June 25 Per­spec­tive fea­ture.

In 1973, I moved to Den­ver’s West High­lands. The neigh­bor­hood was rel­a­tively safe. Prices were low; schools, good; houses, charm­ing. To­day, this neigh­bor­hood is gen­tri­fy­ing — no, ex­plod­ing! New res­tau­rants of­fer­ing vary­ing cui­sine are ev­ery­where. Small houses are be­ing en­larged or re­placed with huge homes. Con­dos are pop­ping up like weeds.

Un­for­tu­nately, these changes are not all good. Some of the new re­place­ment homes don’t fit the neigh­bor­hood, with their flat roofs and strange de­signs. The price of hous­ing con­tin­ues to climb. Street park­ing is be­com­ing scarce. Traf­fic is heav­ier with driv­ers and cy­clists who have no un­der­stand­ing of how to nav­i­gate the nar­row streets with park­ing on both sides.

Over­all, though, I think gen­tri­fi­ca­tion is im­prov­ing my com­mu­nity. West High­lands is a thriv­ing neigh­bor­hood full of pride, di­ver­sity and ac­tiv­ity.

Diane L. Akins, Den­ver

Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion has been and al­ways will be ever thus in Amer­ica, for bet­ter or worse: some­times it is both at the same time. De­vel­op­ments fol­low both money and progress, and progress some­times means his­tory and cul­tural iden­ti­ties are paved over; oth­er­wise the Dodgers would still be in Brook­lyn, and we would still be tak­ing Route 66 in­stead of In­ter­state 70.

Craig Mar­shall Smith, High­lands Ranch

The re­cent ar­ti­cles about af­ford­able hous­ing have drawn needed at­ten­tion to the grow­ing in­equities in our city. None of the re­sponses or writ­ers, how­ever, have con­sid­ered a most valu­able piece of the puz­zle — the min­i­mum wage.

If we were to join other cities and raise our min­i­mum wage to $15 per hour, it would not solve all the is­sues of af­ford­abil­ity, but it might make a big boost for those at the lower lev­els of in­come in our com­mu­nity.

Many are work­ing more than one job to make short ends meet. City Coun­cil, are you look­ing into this? I sure hope so. It is more than time to do so.

An­drew Sweet, Den­ver

In re­sponse to re­cent ar­ti­cles on gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, ef­forts to make Den­ver more af­ford­able have to in­clude re­duc­ing trans­porta­tion costs by pro­mot­ing bik­ing, walk­ing and pub­lic tran­sit. Ac­cord­ing to GOBank­ingRates.com, own­ing a car in Colorado costs $11,470 per year on av­er­age. If Den­verites can only reach their jobs via car, then this ex­ac­er­bates the bur­den of in­creas­ing costs of liv­ing. There­fore, the city has to in­vest in bike-route ex­pan­sion, en­cour­age walk­ing to work, and im­prove RTD so that more peo­ple can use pub­lic tran­sit to com­mute and af­ford the ser­vice, too.

John Henry Vansant, Boul­der

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