DENVER — New affordable condominiums in Denver's Central Park neighborhood have already sold out, which activists say highlights the city's ongoing housing issues.
In about a week, Zack Gibson will take ownership of his new condo unit.
“It’s an awesome day,” Gibson said. “A year and a half ago, I didn’t see any way back to Denver.”
Gibson and his wife are moving from Florida back to Colorado to be closer to their grandchildren.
“We were looking at renting, that was the only way,” Gibson said. “Then, I came across Central Park Urban Living Flats, and it’s one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.”
The complex sold out the 132 affordable housing units. Income qualifications included those making below 80% of median income in Denver.
“One hundred percent sold just demonstrates the need that we have for housing at all levels,” Denver City Councilman Chris Herndon said.
The one- and two-bedroom units range from $139,500 to $169,500. While this is a step in the right direction, many believe it’s not nearly enough.
Locally, many agencies have been critical of the mayor and city leadership for lacking a long-term vision to address Denver’s growing affordability crisis and the explosion of homelessness.
“I don’t know that there’s any changing the mayor because I think he is bought,” said Ana Cornelius, a homeless advocate with Denver Homeless Out Loud. “We’ve put a man on the moon, we’ve cloned animals, but somehow we are entirely daunted by housing our own population. We have decided that certain people are not deserving of basic human rights.”
The mayor was not at the event Wednesday. His office said he was called to the White House for an emergency meeting with President Joe Biden on infrastructure. But Deputy Mayor Murphy Robinson did address some of those concerns.
When asked if the mayor is taking the concerns seriously, Robinson replied, "Some have said ‘No.’”
“It’s one thing to talk, it’s another thing to show,” Robinson said. “And this is an example of us putting our money where our mouth is. Living on the street is never okay.”
In Gibson’s case, the dream is not only reality, it’s better than he expected.
“I used to have this notion of what affordable housing was,” Gibson