Credit: Leah Neu / Colorado Community Media


  • Michael de Yoanna
  • Deborah Grigsby
  • Lisa Schlichtman
  • Thelma Grimes
  • Kristen Fiore
  • Scott Taylor
  • Christine Steadman
  • Scott Gilbert
  • Ellis Arnold
  • Deb Hurley Brobst
  • Rylee Dunn
  • Andrew Fraieli
  • McKenna Harford
  • Nina Joss
  • Haley Lena
  • Olivia Love
  • Leah Neu
  • Tayler Shaw
  • Robert Tann
  • Belen Ward
  • Ellliott Wenzler
  • Corinne Westeman
  • Ben Wiebesiek
  • Luke Zarzecki

People across the metro area are struggling to afford a place to live. Minimum wage earners might spend upwards of 60% of their paychecks on rent. Many Millennials, now entering their 40s, have accumulated less wealth than prior generations and are struggling to find a first home they can afford. At the same time, those who might sell, Baby Boomers, are prone to hold onto their homes, unable to downsize in the supercharged market.

These and other factors, including homelessness, a history of racial disparities where 71% of white Coloradans own homes but only 42% of Black Coloradans do, and a slow down in building that began more than a decade ago during the Great Recession, add up to constitute what some experts call a crisis in housing affordability and availability.

Over the last six months, two dozen journalists, editors and staff at Colorado Community Media worked to answer questions on why this is happening, how we got here and what the solutions are.

The work to find the answers carried our journalists along the Front Range, to talk to mayors, housing authorities, experts and, most importantly, lower- and middle-class families experiencing the crisis first hand.

Our reporters and editors also held focus groups, talking directly to prospective homebuyers, like the single mom worried that  another rent increase could land her in her car and the real estate agent who understood the problems but worried about a lack of solutions.

Over the next four weeks, Colorado Community Media provides an in-depth look at how the current crisis impacts our communities. In Week 1, The Long Way Home breaks down how we got here. On Week 4, we look at how local, state and federal governments are investing millions of dollars into a range of possible solutions – from helping the homeless to affordable housing programs.


Trickling up: How housing is becoming less affordable for more Coloradans 

The perfect storm: Many factors led to today’s housing crisis

Low rate of pay: How minimum wages are failing to keep pace with housing costs


Racial inequities: Black Coloradans often face barriers in homeownership

A Look at the suburbs: Map experts dig for roots of racial separation in metro Denver neighborhoods

A new vision: American dream changing for some Coloradans


The cost of housing: High home prices, lack of supply sever metro residents from communities

One paycheck away: Homelessness is a series of trapdoors of addiction, low wages, laws and health care obstacles

The voucher system: The difficulties of using housing choice vouchers


Call to action: Gov. Polis stresses more housing is key to Colorado’s economic health 

The missing middle: Cities where six-figure salaries can’t buy homes

Metro growth: Climate concerns are hidden cost of urban sprawl

A tiny home: The battle in Colorado began with a bill

Fighting the odds: Woman goes from being homeless to an apartment

Michael de Yoanna is editor in chief of Colorado Community Media. He has more than two decades' experience as an editor, news director and investigative reporter in multimedia/digital journalism. His investigative...

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