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Press Release: Colorado Paycheck to Paycheck Report - May 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Dora Grace
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Essential Workers Priced Out of Colorado Metro Areas

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Dora Grace


Denver – A new report from the National Housing Conference (NHC) shows that in Colorado’s six largest metro areas, most essential workers, such as firefighters, plumbers, childcare workers, dental assistants, and bank tellers, can’t afford to either rent or buy a home.


The study, commissioned by Housing Colorado, profiles these five professions in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins, Greeley and Pueblo. Pueblo is the only metro area where home ownership is an affordable option for plumbers and firefighters. None of the other four occupations studied can afford to purchase a home in any Colorado metro area.


The rental market is only marginally more accessible in these six cities. Renting a two-bedroom home in Boulder is out of reach for five of these six essential professionals (plumbers being the exception), and Denver rents are only affordable for plumbers and firefighters. Bank tellers are unable to afford two-bedroom rentals in any of these metro areas, with tellers in Boulder and Denver spending almost 60 percent of their income on rent.


“Stable, affordable housing is the foundation of all other quality of life metrics,” said Housing Colorado Executive Director Elena Wilken. “This research indicates that communities across Colorado are struggling to maintain strong employment, economic development, educational attainment, and effective health care policy.  We are grateful to the legislators who passed robust housing bills this session and look forward to ensuring that the funding raised serves the working families of Colorado.”


This study is a supplement to the NHC’s just-released 2018 Paycheck to Paycheck Report. Housing Colorado previously partnered with NHC for its 2016 supplemental report about lack of affordable housing options in Colorado for other essential workers, such as school teachers, patrol officers, janitors, licensed nurses, and retail associates.


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