DENVER (KDVR) — Rent is continuing to increase across the Denver metro. The Problem Solvers have been hearing from viewers complaining of lease renewal increases between 20% to nearly 30%. Many of those paying more said their salaries are not increasing at the same rate.
“Once in a while I still shop around just to see what the environment is like,” said Cameron, a tenant in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
The current sticker shock is on top of what’s already been an increase. The average rent in Denver is $1,879 for an average-size apartment of 842 square feet, according to RentCafe.com. That price is more than $250 above the national average and an increase from about $1,600 in 2018, the website reported.
“It won’t stop, and it’s kind of tiresome,” said Dedo, another Denver tenant.
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Experts said tenants are smart to shop around as much as they can and negotiate, if possible.
“I did negotiate, and they kept my rent at the same market price that I moved in at, which I was happy about. But for most people, there is no negotiation,” Dedo said.
State lawmakers have several bills navigating the current legislative session.
“We’re trying to tackle the housing issue from all sides,” said State Rep. Dylan Roberts, a Democrat representing Eagle and Routt counties.
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Roberts said he and his colleagues are investing in affordable housing. A bill he is sponsoring would give cities and towns financial incentives to examine their building and zoning codes to create more housing options.
“Usually, a lot of times, it’s local zoning codes or building codes that prevent some affordable housing projects from getting off the ground,” Roberts explained.
Colorado lawmakers are also trying to ease access to below-market rate loans to build more housing. Boosting down payment, mortgage and rental assistance programs is also part of the agenda, Roberts said.