Forest City Almost Done Having to Lie About Affordable Housing

affordable-housingThe contract between the city and Forest City will be complete as soon as the City of Denver sells the final pieces of airport land to Forest City, which could come as early as 2018. At that time, any agreements between the city and Forest City will be completed. “It’s really an exciting time for us,” said Forest City Spokesperson Janelle Ayers. “We have been dealing with this 500 pound gorilla known as affordable housing for a long time now. Of course, the city has put some pressure on us, and certainly the Stapleton residents and its committees have put pressure on us, so we have been dodging questions for a long time now. So, to know we may only have one year left of this is really gratifying. We’re on the home stretch.” Once the land is transferred, and all of Stapleton is built out, the City of Denver will evaluate Forest City’s performance in regards to the original plan. “That makes no sense to me,” said CAB (Citizens Advisory Board) member Greg Owens. “So, they may fail in these goals, but they get their money. Why do they care what the city says about them at that point? There should have been safeguards put in place along the way.”

Forest City believes they put a strong enough effort towards the affordable housing goals and should be commended. “You wanted 33% rental housing. We’re at almost 20%,” said Ayers. “The goal for affordable for sale homes was 10%. We’re halfway there. Now, we are of course not going to get to any of these goals being 75-80% built out, but that’s pretty darn good.” Owens doesn’t agree. “These goals weren’t meant to be lofty,” says Owens. “They were put in place as something people believed was important to build a strong, diverse community. In most people’s minds, these were minimums. Not some lofty goal that you shot for, but if you missed, you still would have done well. I think it’s totally unacceptable. But, in less than a year, there won’t be anything anyone can do about it.”

Forest City will no doubt continue to get pressure from the community in regards to its poor performance on affordable housing. For their part, Forest City plans to dodge and duck these questions, and if they are forced to answer, they will use excuses and lies. They’ve been doing that for over a decade. And as of now, they only have a year left of these aggravating affordable housing questions.

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