SPECIAL SERIES: The Long Way Home

 

Colorado has an affordable housing crisis.

People across the metro area are struggling to afford a place to live. Minimum wage earners might spend upwards of 60% of their paychecks on rent.   

We dedicated one newsroom, two dozen journalists and more than seven months of in-depth reporting to explore what makes the path to finding a home such a long and daunting journey.

WEEK THREE: A Complex Series of Trap Doors

 

Week 3 Editor's Note: The most vulnerable of the housing crisis
Our monthlong series exploring housing turns to one of the most perplexing issues facing our communities: the lives of those who have no home.

The Cost of Housing: High home prices, lack of supply sever metro residents from communities

When Chris Laney moved into his new three-bedroom home last summer, he felt like he’d won the lottery. After more than a decade of chasing the cheapest rent across the metro area, the Littleton bartender finally has a house to call his own. 

The Voucher System: The difficulties of using housing choice vouchers

About a year and a half ago, David Hernandez received a call from a number he did not recognize. When he called the number back, he heard news that would drastically change his housing …

One Paycheck Away: Homelessness is a series of trapdoors of addiction, low wages, laws and health care obstacles

Jonathan Townsend Garner spent nine sleepless nights in 2017 covered in snow staring up at the bottom of a frozen overpass in Aurora. Just a few short months before, the 35-year-old  was …
WEEK TWO: The Changing American Dream

 

Week 2 Editor's Note: The changing American dream and the obstacles some people face
The first week of Colorado Community Media’s Long Way Home series focused on what many experts say is a housing crisis across the metro area.

Racial Inequities: Black Coloradans often face barriers in homeownership

A few years ago, Aurora Warms the Night, an Aurora-based nonprofit serving people who need housing, ran into a challenge when assisting its Black clients in applying for apartments. When the applicants visited properties, landlords denied their applications. This happened over and over again.

A Look at the Suburbs: Map experts dig for roots of racial separation in metro Denver neighborhoods

In 1967, Black Americans were mired in “the long, hot summer.” Frustrations over poverty, unemployment, discrimination and myriad other issues spilled into the streets, leading to clashes with police, even arrests, in many places, including Denver.

A New Vision: American dream changing for some Coloradans

Amber Carlson is a Colorado native. She loves the Denver area for all its amenities — from outdoor recreation to the arts-and-culture scene. But with so many other people moving to the region because they also love those things, Carlson would consider moving away.
WEEK ONE: How We Got Here
The Long Way Home - Colorado Community Media examines the impacts of the housing crisis
People across the metro area are struggling to afford a place to live. Minimum wage earners might spend upwards of 60% of their paychecks on rent. Many Millennials, now entering their 40s, have …

Trickling up: How housing is becoming less affordable for more Coloradans 

A home means everything to Shelley Gilson, a 50-year-old single mother of three girls who works as a guest service agent at an airline. 

The Perfect Storm: Many factors led to today’s housing crisis

​​Kim Howard of Evergreen has been in her 2,600-square-foot home for 40 years. Now alone, the 70-year-old is looking to downsize and move closer to Denver, but she can’t find a smaller home …

Low Rate of Pay: How minimum wages are failing to keep pace with housing costs

In recent years, minimum wages have slowly increased, with Denver reaching $17.29 an hour this year, and the suburbs surrounding the city being lower, based on the state of Colorado’s minimum of $13.65 an hour.
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