Earlier this month, ULC commissioned a report from Shift Research Lab to understand the economic impact of building and rehabbing affordable housing at transit oriented developments (TODs) in metro Denver in 2017. On August 6th, ULC welcomed world renowned economist Elliot Eisenberg and Jennifer Newcomer, Principal – Research at Shift Research Lab to present the findings. The presentation was held at the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Library, part of ULC’s Mile High Vista development in the West Colfax neighborhood.
Eisenberg is a nationally acclaimed economist and public speaker, well knows for making his presentations on economics fun, relevant and educational. He is a longstanding partner of ULC, and has presented on past economic impact reports beginning in 2010. During his presentation on Monday, Eisenberg took a detailed look into the benefits of affordable housing development, and how the economic impact trickles throughout the local economy. He noted however that the grim affordable housing crisis we are currently facing is due to not enough housing being built due to multiple factors including labor shortage, increasing building costs and a rising price in land. Eisenberg concluded his presentation with solutions to address the housing crisis, including modular housing, accessory dwelling units (ADU’s), dynamic zoning, encouraging density and community land trusts.
Newcomer gathered and analyzed the 2017 data in partnership with Phyllis Resnick, PhD. Along transit-plus TODs (those located within 1/2 mile of rail transit or 1/2 mile of bus rapid transit along US 36 and 1/4 mile within high-frequency bus stations), over $200 million was spent in the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing. This created 5,336 full and part-time jobs, and nearly $126 million in earnings for Coloradans. The development of affordable housing along transit also had a significant impact on the local economy, generating $219.6 million in economic activity in Metro Denver.
To read the report in full, you can find it here. Thank you to Shift Research Lab for bringing these statistics to the forefront and to Elliot Eisenberg for bringing context to what Metro Denver residents are struggling with economically as it relates to wages vs. housing costs.