Colorado losing population because of affordable housing crisis


We talk a lot about the lack of affordable housing in Colorado Springs, but it’s also a statewide problem that may be causing more people to move out of state. 

Many are saying it’s the rising housing prices, jobs that don’t pay enough, and traffic jams that are sending them packing. 

The population of Colorado continues to grow. It’s estimated at more than 5.5 million people. Colorado gained more than 90,000 people from 2015 to 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  

Recent data shows the number of people moving to Colorado is decreasing and the number of people moving out is increasing. 

That means the numbers of net migration are down significantly in the last three three years. In 2014 it was 45,396, 2015 dropped slightly to 44,500, and 2016 took a plunge to 30,859, according to The Denver Post.

“They say they love it here, this and that, but they just can’t afford it anymore,” said Peter Bonito, part owner of All My Sons Moving Company. “This year in general more people have been moving out of state. In previous years more people were flocking here.”

On Monday, city leaders hosted a meeting about affordable housing, bringing together The Home Builders Association, Apartment Managers Association and more. The group was working to find a solution to the lack of affordable housing — a problem that is pushing many away.

“[It] involves lack of stock for teachers and police officers and firemen and mechanics, who are not supposed to spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. But because of rental rates and the lack of housing, they can’t find a place to live and house their families,” said Colorado Springs City Councilman David Geislinger. 

We asked people to share their experiences. Here were some of the responses.

Linda D. plans to move from Longmont to Arizona at the end of the month because of “cost, crime, and traffic.”

Raelyn C. says, “We recently moved out of Colorado Springs, CO. The housing costs have increased since we moved there in 2014. It’s ridiculous. What used to cost $1000 a month has increased to $1500 plus. Not to mention availability of housing is ridiculous. We had to move when our lease was up and we tried very hard to find another house within our means and it was impossible.”

At the affordable housing meeting, officials said that the definition of homeless needs to be broader, even to include students who are living with their parents because they can’t afford a place of their own.

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