Colorado’s affordable housing issue

Local News

Grand Junction, Colo. – With housing prices skyrocketing, millions of Americans are struggling to find homes that fit their budget. While minimum wage rates slowly increase, many states are seeing permanent housing and rentals disproportionately grow too, with Colorado being no exception.

U.S. Senator Michael Bennet tackles the housing and eviction crises across the nation, and says Colorado’s problem is growing at a concerning rate,

“We’ve got a very serious problem with affordable housing in the state of Colorado and frankly across the country; and we’ve got to find a way as a society to build more affordable housing for people,”

Sen. Bennet hopes that legislation can help prevent unavoidable evictions and reduce homelessness across the state,

“We are even feeling the impact of this housing crisis right here in Grand Junction; from job losses to homelessness, affordable housing is needed now more than ever,” says KREX5’s Reilly Spence.

Once marketed as one of Colorado’s more ‘affordable’ places to live, Grand Junction has become just as expensive as many of its neighboring cities.

The Chamber of Commerce says the problem has grown so large that it is no longer just a lower to middle-class issue,

“Even workers who are making a substantial wage are now finding it difficult and being almost priced out of our market,” says Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce’s Diane Schwenke.

Also adding that the problem doesn’t end there, the unintended ripple effect leads less workers and businesses to move to Mesa County, as they cannot afford to live here,

“Grand Junction is no longer an outlier with you know, low-priced housing that we can use to attract new businesses and new residents, that’s just not the case anymore,” continues Schwenke.

According to the U.S. Census, Colorado has grown by nearly 80,000 people since
2017, increasing the average home’s price to over $400,000 in 2021. While the decades-long trend of rising housing prices continues, Senator Bennet and Colorado citizens alike – are hoping with time and attention, the crisis can be solved.

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