See the original Aurora Sentinel article here.
We’re number one, but this is not something we should be proud of, and this doesn’t happen by accident. Our housing crisis is a direct result of our city’s historically hands-off approach to development and redevelopment.
During the Great Recession, city council did little to prevent foreclosed homes from being scooped up by property management groups, taking numerous homes off the market and driving rental prices up.
Since the recovery, city council has failed to put protections in place for our existing residents and businesses as it pertains to redevelopment, putting many of our most vulnerable residents (seniors, veterans, and others on fixed incomes) at risk of being displaced, especially in parts of Aurora that were historically red-lined.
As we’ve grown, city council has done little while developers over-serve the “luxury” price point for rental homes while under-serving our working families to the tune of 14,000 housing units. In fact, we currently have more housing priced out of reach for Aurorans than the total deficit in affordable housing in the city.
Let that sink in.
The legacy of these choices is damaging to our city’s budget and has numerous side effects such as domestic abuse, divorce, and homelessness, all of which put additional strain on our public institutions and the fabric of our society.
Aurorans deserve better leadership. If elected, I will work diligently to tackle our housing crisis by:
- Partnering with developers who specialize in affordable housing to help shrink the deficit of workforce-priced housing in our city.
- Partnering with community land trusts to create a stock of permanently affordable housing and commercial spaces to our city.
- Exploring the creation of social housing by utilizing existing development tools to fund these projects without dipping into our city’s general fund.
- Create a vacancy study that will add a layer of transparency to our housing market, help us ensure we are properly utilizing our existing housing stock, and allow us to make informed projections about future housing needs.