Jason Bruton: When the wealthy take over
April 22, 2009
ARGH! I think my head is going to pop. What is it that you people who have built your big trophy homes or some ridiculous second home in the last 10-15 years who oppose affordable housing not getting?
Ten years ago LODO was not the nicest of places in Denver. Then some developer types got the idea to buy up this cheap housing, tear it down, and build upscale apartments and condos for higher-income people. “We’re going to clean up this neighborhood” mindset. Yup, they cleaned it up real nice. Fancy condos, nice cars, and oh, look at that trendy little shop, let’s go there. But wait, there’s some homeless people over there; they might ask us for change. And some homeless people over there, my gosh where did all these homeless people in LODO come from; it’s such a nice neighborhood?
Now drive 60 miles up the mountain to Summit County. Ten or 15 years ago, housing was at least reasonable. Not the cheapest, but people could buy. Then some developer types got another great idea. Let’s build big trophy homes and advertise this great life in the mountains; then charge some inflated prices and see if they pay. And they did pay, and they kept coming. Then the speculators came, everyone who saw a dollar came. Then neighboring real estate values rose. Before you knew it, an 800 square-foot condo is selling for $300,000+.
I hope you are getting my point. If not; people with money have this thing about moving into places, creating a housing vacuum in some fashion or another and some of them carry on as if there is no worry in the world. Why should they care? They cleaned up a not-so-desirable neighborhood or started a nice new one. That is something positive, right? Don’t forget a simple law of physics, for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. And next time you find yourself asking why us poor folk think we are entitled to something, ask yourself why having an extra dollar makes you entitled to just sort of take over?