Clash over DIY housing pits activists against city of Denver: Here’s what you need to know

Clash over DIY housing pits activists against city of Denver: Here’s what you need to know

Raided

It was always going to get shut down.

This weekend, a village of hand-built tiny homes sprung up at 2500 Lawrence St., a city-owned plot of land in Denver’s Curtis Park neighborhood, only to get swiftly torn down by police. The group behind the guerrilla construction is Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL) — an activist collective that’s known for pushing the boundaries on homeless rights issues. They’ve been dreaming, scheming and building “Resurrection Village” for months. What they want is a safe, sustainable alternative to sleeping on the streets — something they say does not exist in Denver’s booming economy.

DHOL saw an opportunity in the plot of land known as Sustainability Park.

Denver Housing Authority is selling the property to a private developer to replace the urban farmers who currently lease the land. Construction on the new housing units won’t break ground until spring, but Denver Urban Farmers Collaborative has to move out now.

On Saturday, the farmers hosted Permaculture Action Day —  an event that invited volunteers to help uproot plants, move tools and say goodbye to the beloved community garden. Using that whirlwind of activity as cover, DHOL swooped in to start assembling their tiny homes in the north end of the park.

Tiny homes have all the amenities of a home: a roof overhead, locking door and the privacy of enclosed walls. But they are, as the name implies, tiny, 100-200 square feet.

The group had been constructing them for months using a paneled design that disassembles and assembles in pieces. So erecting the village was just a matter of transporting, aligning and screwing it all together.

“”Most people don’t want to see us. They just want to see high rises,” said Greg Dickerson about living without a home.

There was a goofy excitement Saturday afternoon, with people strumming guitars and chatting as they worked. Some curious onlookers from the permaculture side of things wandered over to lend a hand. By the time the sun set on Sustainability Park, five tiny homes were nearly finished.

 

 

 

Ray Lyall was all set to move into one of them. It was still roofless, but the sky looked clear and the crew was tired after a long day of building. Roof or no roof, Lyall was ecstatic about having his own home after two years of living on the streets.

Just after 10 p.m., police showed up. After all, it was recently purchased private property slated for development that these folks were preparing to live on.

Most people didn’t want to risk confrontation and left the park when they were told to. But some stayed put, taking refuge in the tiny homes.

A helicopter circled overhead as Lt. Tony Galloway ordered the activists to get off the property.

“You’ll to have to drag me out of here!” Lyall yelled out the door of his new abode.

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Smoking cigarettes and voicing their peaceful intentions, the ten activists hunkered down inside knowing what was coming. The 70 cops approaching in full riot gear made it awfully clear.

On the other side of the park fence, a throng of supporters cheered their friends and jeered the cops while everyone in tiny homes was pulled out, cuffed and put in the back of a police van. The rumble of their stomping feet inside could be heard above all the hubbub.

“House keys not handcuffs!” was one of the more civil refrains heard in the stream of commentary. Some taunts equated law enforcement to a certain farm animal while others wondered whether the size of cops’ guns revealed insecurity about the size of what else they were packing.

Dump trucks pulled in to cart off all the tiny homes while those who had spent over a year building them clung to the fence looking helplessly on.IMG_0087

All told, ten people were arrested for trespassing. Nine were bonded out the next morning, with help from the Denver Anarchist Black Cross, and one got out Monday.

DHOL member Karen Seed was part of the cadre that went to jail. She said of course she “knew it was in the spectrum of possibilities” for the village to get torn down, but “was not expecting that level of backlash so immediately. I was really hoping we’d have a second day to show Denver what this could really look like.”

Spokesman for the Denver Police Department Tyrone Campbell confirmed that Seed, Lyall and eight others were indeed booked for trespassing on private property, but couldn’t speak to the fate of the tiny homes. He told The Colorado Independent that some were removed — though declined to clarify what “removed” means — and some were returned.

DHOL maintains that they haven’t gotten any homes, tools or other personal items back.

The activists understood they were breaking the law. And that was kind of the point. It was a symbolic direct action designed to highlight how the police prioritize developers’ desires over the needs of people without a home.

Karen Seed: “The way I see it — and I how a lot of DHOL sees it — is that framing it as private property is not right. It’s not in the spirit of public service to make money off of land that’s supposed to be public.”

Whose land?

Resurrection Village faces a few obstacles, not the least of which is land. Namely, that 2500 Lawrence St. is privately owned property.

Pre-colonization, the land belonged to the Arapaho tribe. But since the city was incorporated in the mid-19th century, in essence occupying that land, the Denver Housing Authority has been its steward.

The city built affordable housing units there in the 1950s. Underfunded for decades, the project was torn down in the late 90s. The plot then went unused until 2009 when the city temporarily leased it out to the Denver Urban Farmers Collaborative — comprised of sustainable agriculture groups GreenLeaf, Produce Denver and GrowHaus. Farmers have been partnering with local school groups and community volunteers to grow produce for distribution in the city’s food deserts.

Earlier this year, Denver Housing Authority sold 2500 Lawrence St. to a private developer —Treehouse Development — a Denver-based real estate firm that plans to build 220 new units in the neighborhood. Per the city’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, 10 percent of the units will be “affordable” which, based on median area income, are priced for individuals making between $22,000 and $44,000 a year. Larger homes slated for development are valued in the mid $600,000s.

Representatives at Treehouse did not return The Colorado Independent’s interview requests.

“Not even these token 22 units would be affordable for the hundreds of low income people who were kicked out of their homes on this land 10 and 20 years ago,” according to a statement put out by Denver Homeless Out Loud.

“No amount of ‘greenwashing’ and empty promises can hide the plain truth: Public assets should not be used to incentivize upscale market-rate housing. Urban farmers and low-income people should not be displaced for the sake of economic development right in the midst of Denver’s worst housing crisis ever.”

Crisis mode

Denver has an affordability problem, and it boils down to this: too many people, not enough housing.

Denver consistently ranks among the fastest growing cities in the country, with out-of-towners flocking to get in on the energy and tech industries, legal pot and craft beer.

The city’s population grew by over 100,000 from 2010 to 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and shows no sign of slowing down.

When it comes to housing all those people, supply is not keeping up with demand.

Only Seattle and San Francisco have lower vacancy rates than Denver, according to 2014 census data. So if you want to live in any of Denver’s hard-to-come-by housing, you have to pay more and more every year. The housing division of Colorado Department of Local Affairs found that in 2012, just under half of renter households in Denver were severely rent-burdened, meaning more than a third of their income went to paying rent.

“Saturday night I didn’t get to go home and put my feet up like I wanted to. They took it from me. But I’m back and I’m not giving up.” — Ray Lyall

And as those who can afford it crowd as close to LoDo as possible, those who can’t, but whose families have lived their for decades, get pushed out.

For some that means pushed out to the suburbs via lightrail. But for thousands of Denverites that means pushed out of housing entirely.

The federally funded Metro Denver Homeless Initiative found more than 3,000 people experiencing homelessness one night in January 2014. Asked why, respondents’ most common answer was “lost job/can’t find work” and “housing costs too high.”

Move along

Denverites who can’t afford housing are left with few options.

The night before the tiny home occupation, former truck driver Greg Dickerson had a spot to rest that was warm and dry. Then a cop came, gave him a little kick and told him to move along.

“That happens every night,” he said, estimating that sleep comes in three or four hour chunks at a time. “And then you spend all day waiting on line. For food, for shelter — just the necessities.”

This is Dickerson’s fourth and hardest time living on the streets: His car, dog and ID were all stolen recently by a vengeful ex. Trying to get any of it back has been a bureaucratic nightmare, he said, and there’s not much work out there for an older guy with a blown out knee. So for now, he’s moving along.

“Most people don’t want to see us,” Dickerson said. “They just want to see high rises.”

That’s the feedback City Councilman Albus Brooks reported hearing from constituents when he penned Denver’s Urban Camping Ban in 2012. Brooks, who represents District 8 that includes Sustainability Park, told The Denver Post that he took a stroll down the 16th Street Mall to gain understanding of the issue before proposing the ordinance.

“We have predators, sex offenders, folks selling drugs and taking advantage of people and vagrants all pretending to be these homeless folks […] I am compassionate, but I also understand that sometimes people need to be dealt with.”

The camping ban makes it illegal “to reside or dwell temporarily in a place, with shelter.” A tent, tarp, lean-to, sleeping bag, bedroll, blanket and any form of cover or protection from the elements other than clothing all count as “shelter.”

When the measure was under consideration, the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado urged the council to reject it.

“The ordinance is unwise, mean-spirited and potentially unconstitutional,” public policy director Denise Maes wrote. “Denver can do better than a criminalization approach.”

But with support from the downtown business community, City Council did not reject the camping ban and now it’s on the books.

After the law had been in effect for a year, DHOL conducted a report from the streets with data analysis by urban politics professor Tony Robinson of the University of Colorado Denver. They passed out surveys to 512 homeless people from various popular gathering spots in the city to learn how the camping ban was affecting people’s quality of life. Around half felt less safe since the ban and most reported getting less sleep and having more trouble accessing shelters. People now try to avoid well-lit, central locations and instead choose to hide off the beaten path in bushes, behind dumpsters and under bridges.

Denver doesn’t have enough shelter beds for the homeless anyway. The DHOL report found while the homeless population has grown over the years, the number of beds available to the homeless has stayed more or less stagnant.

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Right to rest

Denver is facing pressure to overturn its camping ban at the local, state and national level.

This summer, the U.S. Department of Justice weighed in on a case out of Boise, Idaho — a city, like Denver, that prohibits people from existing in public while failing to provide enough shelter space. The DOJ’s filing argues the camping ban is a form of cruel and unusual punishment.

“It should be uncontroversial that punishing conduct that is a universal and unavoidable consequence of being human violates the Eighth Amendment. . .  Sleeping is a life-sustaining activity—i.e., it must occur at some time in some place. If a person literally has nowhere else to go, then enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance against that person criminalizes her for being homeless.”

Following the DOJ’s lead, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development made some changes to its homeless assistance initiatives. Applicants now have to “describe how they are reducing criminalization of homelessness” to win a competitive Continuum of Care grant.

Last year, service agencies in Denver got more than $20 million from HUD through that program. But if the city can’t demonstrate it’s making moves on decriminalizing homelessness, that grant may very well not come through next time around.

At the state level, camping ban opponents tried and failed to pass a “Right to Rest” bill in the legislature last session. Had it passed, the bill would have codified “the right to use and move freely in public spaces without discrimination, to rest in public spaces without discrimination, to eat or accept food in any public space where food is not prohibited, to occupy a legally parked vehicle, and to have a reasonable expectation of privacy of one’s property.”

The Homeless Bill of Rights, as it’s called, is a campaign by the Western Regional Advocacy Project that spans Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington. DHOL is heading up the effort here in Colorado.

The bill was voted down 8-3 in the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee in the state House. DHOL promises Right to Rest will be back next session.

But in the here and now, City Council could vote to overturn the ban. So that’s what homeless advocates are asking them to do.

Next steps

Monday evening, Occupy Denver, an activist group distinct from DHOL,  touted a petition with over 14,500 signatures calling for repeal of the urban camping ban. On the front steps of the City and County building, Occupy organizer Laura Avant called the camping ban inhumane.IMG_0102

“When they say ‘move along,’ we say ‘move along to where?'” Avant said into a microphone standing with several supporters holding banners. “The time for repeal is now!”

During Avant’s plea, a well-known local rabble-rouser dressed in old-fashioned police garb mimed a move along. He tapped the door of a constructed cardboard house and waved his baton at someone lying in a sleeping bag behind it. The gathered crowd chuckled gratefully.

Ray Lyall, fresh out of jail, stepped up to thank his network of supporters and bemoan the loss of his new tiny home.

“Saturday night I didn’t get to go home and put my feet up like I wanted to. They took it from me. But I’m back and I’m not giving up.”

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Another DHOL member read a letter asking for their tiny homes back, for Sustainability Park to be re-opened (it’s been chained shut with “no trespassing signs” since the raid) and for a meeting with Denver Housing Authority to discuss next steps. Recent events “followed a pattern which is all too common,” he continued. “We spend more money criminalizing homelessness than we would if we simply housed the same unhoused folks.”

The letter points out that the money spent holding ten people in jail for a night and on bond could pay for three new tiny homes. That claim is based on Vera Institute’s estimated price tag for jailing one person for a night ($83), bond money ($1500) and DHOL’s estimated cost of materials for the tiny homes ($700-$2,500). DHOL’s cost estimates don’t account for land or labor.

“We’d like to find a solution that makes fiscal and moral sense,” the letter concludes. “Until then, they will have nowhere else to go, so you’ll probably see a lot of us out on the street.”

DHOL has indeed been out on the street, strategizing and sleeping just outside the locked gates of Sustainability Park every night since their homes were taken. The activists remain committed to two principal demands:

  • Legalize Tiny Homes in Denver – A cheap, sustainable, and attractive solution for many.

  • Set Aside Publicly Owned Land for Tiny Homes and people experiencing homelessness -Public Assets Should Be Used For The Public Good – we don’t need our public land sold to private developers to build condos when we are in an affordable housing crisis. We need a Tiny Home Village run by and for people experiencing homelessness.

And three secondary:

  • End the Criminalization of Homelessness – Repeal all laws which infringe on people’s rights to move freely, rest, sleep and protect oneself from the elements, sleep in your legally parked vehicle, and eat in public spaces.

  • Adequately Fund Affordable Housing Development – We need real funding for our current crisis. Not just small ‘rotating funds’ for workforce housing. We need to fully refund our affordable housing budget on a federal, state and local level.

  • Stop Displacing Urban Farmers – keep the few urban farms we have in Denver Functioning (stop selling public land to private developers).

Joining activists outside the City and County building was Ibrahim Mubarak, a self-described direct action guru from the west coast. Over a decade ago, Mubarak was instrumental in founding Dignity Village — a tiny home and tent village in Portland that’s now an incorporated nonprofit which the city recognizes as a campground.

Mubarak told the group assembled on the steps of the City and County building that the raid on Resurrection Village does not mean failure.

“This is how we started in Dignity Village too. We thought it was it,” he said. “But a lot of little defeats can add up to victory.”

Delivery

Monday night, around 30 supporters filed into City Council’s chamber right before a zoning hearing was set to begin. Occupiers backed up Avant as she slammed the stack of petitions down in front of Council President Chris Herndon. DHOL members stood in the back.

“Repeal the urban camping ban!” they shouted at the Council. Decorum broke for a few minutes as the activists spoke.

“We just want to be able to live and help each other out,” yelled the never-shy Occupier Caryn Sodaro. “Show some compassion!”

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Herndon was among a few councilmembers who left the chamber when activists entered it. Upon his return he smacked his gavel and called for the hearing to begin, apologizing for the “inconvenience.”

“Inconvenience?” a woman in the back cried out. “Homeless people are not inconvenient!”

Then the Council proceeded through some zoning issues and heard public comments on the mayor’s 2015 budget.

Resurrection Village and the urban camping ban were not specific agenda items, but some commenters questioned whether it’s right to put $8 million for affordable housing next to $24 million for the Sheriff’s department.

After the meeting, Councilman Rafael Espinoza talked tiny homes with The Colorado Independent.

Trespassing on private property is obviously not an avenue the Councilman would support, though he expressed shared frustration in seeing developers sit on land for months before doing anything with it.

“It drives me crazy when I drive around town,” he said. “It’s like, we could be doing something with it right now!”

But even if DHOL were to wade into the realm of private ownership and actually acquire some land, an issue remains: Tiny homes, because of their size, violate city zoning codes. Espinoza said he’s been approached about legalizing tiny homes in all of Denver county, but he doesn’t like the idea.

“Not everybody has a noble cause,” he said. “People would start putting tiny homes in their backyard and renting them out on Airbnb. Then we’d have a mess.”

Espinoza is intrigued by the idea of amending the zoning code more narrowly, so that one pilot project on one plot of land could test the concept.

“Maybe we could even find a way to fund it,” he said with a half-smile.

 

Photos by Nat Stein

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About the Author

Nat Stein

Nat Stein is a Denver-based reporter. Check out her other work at Cipher magazine, KRCC public radio, Jacobin magazine and In These Times.

13 Comments

  1. Stan on said:

    Noble ideas aren’t necessarily good ideas. There’s no plumbing in these “homes.” People are just going to relieve themselves all over this property. Considering that many of these people already litter the 16th Street Mall with their human waste, I don’t see them treating this property any differently. Do you know what happens when a populated area lacks sanitation? Contaminated soil and food, vermin, cholera, schistosomiasis, and trachoma… bad things. I’m sure the property owners would LOVE to deal with that mess. These “homes” have no electricity. People are going to set themselves on fire or die from carbon monoxide poisoning while using gas stoves and heaters inside these things. Who are the injured or bereaved going to sue? The property owners!

  2. Claude on said:

    Certainly smart when there’s a housing shortage to get mad at a group for building 220 new homes. Also that whole “well, it was Arapaho land” thing is just unbelievable. Illegal shantytowns and urban farms! Glad you discussed homelessness some though.

  3. Karen Seed on said:

    Dear Claude,
    those 220 homes will be priced at between 200K for a tiny unit to 800K for a larger home according to urban luxe real estate.
    The Denver Inclusionary Housing Ordinance requires 10% of these homes to be “affordable” meaning priced at 50-80% of Area Median Income (AMI). This means they will be priced for people making between 22,000 and 44,000 per year–far beyond the reach of many of the citys low income residents.
    There is not a housing shortage–there is a housing crisis.

  4. Karen Seed on said:

    Dear Stan,
    The homes you see here were built and subsequently bulldozed in 1 day. It was a move spurred by the 2 years of formal village proposals being ignored and rejected by the stewards of public land. Naturally, they did not have a chance to build the water and sanitation systems that were necessary.
    A legal village established on public land would have all those amenities and work with the city to be code and health compliant. Check out Dignity Village and Opportunity Village in Oregon–two excellent examples of working tiny home villages.

  5. Cal Huss on said:

    clearly you are unfamiliar with the success of Dignity Village, or any of the other innovative housing initiatives in Madison WI, Olympia WA, or Eugene OR, to name a few. None of the horrific outcomes you mentioned have resulted at these locations. I also take it that you’ve never heard of — or used — a composting toilet. They are user-friendly and sanitary. They don’t use any water (I know it rained a lot last season, but surely you remember that drought is still a major issue in Colorado, and that our water scarcity will only increase alongside the population boom in the coming years). On top of that, they even produce a valuable agricultural by-product. To say they don’t have electricity is an obvious declaration of ignorance, as they can be rigged with solar cells and small propane, natural gas, or biofuel stoves. I understand that the idea of everyday-folk designing things that may not be “up to spec” presents a safety hazard, but until housing is provided for 3,000 people on the streets, “safety” is going to remain a far more rampant issue. Honestly, to say that it is “safer” to force people to sleep in dumpsters and spillways than to actually give them a livable shelter completely and utterly baffles me.

  6. Cal Huss on said:

    Stan, clearly you are unfamiliar with the success of Dignity Village, or any of the other innovative housing initiatives in Madison WI, Olympia WA, or Eugene OR, to name a few. None of the horrific outcomes you mentioned have resulted at these locations. I also take it that you’ve never heard of — or used — a composting toilet. They are user-friendly and sanitary. They don’t use any water (I know it rained a lot last season, but surely you remember that drought is still a major issue in Colorado, and that our water scarcity will only increase alongside the population boom in the coming years). On top of that, they even produce a valuable agricultural by-product. To say they don’t have electricity is an obvious declaration of ignorance, as they can be rigged with solar cells and small propane, natural gas, or biofuel stoves. I understand that the idea of everyday-folk designing things that may not be “up to spec” presents a safety hazard, but until housing is provided for 3,000 people on the streets, “safety” is going to remain a far more rampant issue. Honestly, to say that it is “safer” to force people to sleep in dumpsters and spillways than to actually give them a livable shelter completely and utterly baffles me.

  7. Cal Huss on said:

    Claude, how does it make sense to eliminate a very important part of historical context from this story? Is it really “unbelievable” to call into question monopolizing and profiteering off of land that was in many cases, taken using force and bloodshed?

  8. Denver Social Worker on said:

    It may be worth mentioning that Denver has more housing and services for the homeless than the vast majority of U.S. cities. Denver’s reputation is actually a big reason why our homeless population has swelled so much. Other cities such as Albuquerque literally buy people one-way bus tickets to Denver. I know this because I work with people facing chronic homelessness every day and I helped conduct the 2013 Point in Time Survey. We have many organizations that have been fighting tirelessly against homelessness in Denver for decades. The city and county of Denver do need to evolve on this issue, though most local governments are arguably worse.

    Denver Housing Authority operates 3,900 subsidized units which means they currently house an even higher number of people at risk of, or coming from, chronic homelessness (http://www.denverhousing.org/AffordableHousing/SubsidizedHousing/Pages/default.aspx). Colorado Coalition for the Homeless houses thousands of people around Denver (http://www.denverhousing.org/AffordableHousing/SubsidizedHousing/Pages/default.aspx). Volunteers of America Colorado has 7 subsidized apartment buildings in Denver(http://www.voacolorado.org/housing_properties). Archdiocesan Housing has 11 (http://www.archdiocesanhousing.org/index.php/find-housing). The Mental Health Center of Denver provides housing for many hundreds of people (http://mhcd.org/what-we-do/adult-recovery-services/housing-services).
    This specifically refers to units that a person with 0 income can qualify for and only represents a sampling of the housing that exists for people facing homelessness in Denver (http://www.coloradohousingsearch.com/). These agencies also offer a wide range of other essential services in addition to housing. I’m not sure how many people Occupy Denver houses or how many families or people with severe and persistent mental illness could live in tiny homes but there’s over 10,000 people around Denver currently out of homelessness because agencies like the ones I mentioned above with new units going up all the time. These agencies also pay lawyers to put pressure on local governments to increase funding for services and decriminalize. If you have any interest in any of these organizations, you can volunteer with them, donate to them, reach out and work alongside them, and inform people about them. Just check them out on the links above.

  9. Flores on said:

    While these activists’ hearts may be in the right place, their method is terrible. Instead of fostering discussion in the community and recruiting potential allies they’ve angered land owners and gave the city no reason to be sympathetic.

    Yes, this used to be DHA land, but the city is bound by law to evict these tiny houses, no matter the intention. One of the few things that voters seem to care about in this country is their property laws and they have little sympathy for people who break them. You’ve lost all ability to spin this in your favor because it can be explained to voters thusly: “Would you want someone coming in and building a tiny house on your property illegally?” No, they don’t.

    But with permission of the property owner it actually becomes a zoning and overnight camping issue. The city and the cops can no longer claim that you’re illegally squatting and have to face the fact that they’re pulling down your shelter for the homeless because they don’t allow it. The argument becomes about what you want it to be about and not that you were building on someone else’s land.

    And homelessness is not going to be solved by building tiny houses with no running water or electricity on empty land. Anyone who has actually interacted with the homeless knows that the issue is more than just having a roof over their head. As an act of civil disobedience regarding high housing costs in Denver, sure. But assuming that the magic cure for homelessness is embodied in your magnanimous construction of housing? Not so much. Don’t sell it as such because the people who are on your side and work amongst this all the time know better. You’ve lost potential allies because you can’t control your message. STAY ON MESSAGE: “repeal the camping ban, build housing for the homeless” Don’t comment on the cost of housing for the middle class or rising costs.

    And finally, how is this supposed to help your group or your members work for the homeless in the future? No legislation will come out of camping on the steps of city hall and interrupting council meetings unless you recruit allies from within the community, the city government, and the business community. You keep crying for democracy but don’t want to court a large enough voting bloc to get things done. Successful activism also involves marketing your cause to neutrals and non-supporters, and that is something that Avant and Occupy have yet to grasp after all these years.

    Overall this is a mess, but not because of Denver’s poor treatment of the homeless – but because this group doesn’t seem to have read anything about successful activism, social movements, or civil disobedience and is trying to blame everyone but themselves for their failure to get things done.

  10. Dan Kelley on said:

    What’s so horrible about people renting out tiny home’s in their back yards? A tiny home can be equipped with amenities like plumbing and a kitchen. It’s not like people are going to choose to rent a tiny home if they can afford a bigger place. So any tiny home that might get rented in somebody’s back yard is probably going to be rented to a homeless person anyhow, or somebody who would be homeless if they didn’t have the option of renting that tiny home. So, the councilman voiced yet again his opposition to allowing those suffering dire poverty to have a roof over their heads. But if they build tiny homes enough to house all the homeless people on public land and they have no rent there, then the market of people to which people might rent tiny homes in their backyard will be nil, as all those people will have free tiny homes on public land. What this comes down to though, is that the council cronies who are getting these kickbacks on selling the public’s land to their “developer” cronies, are vicious psychopaths and fraudster criminals, who are THIEVING from The Public, in making decisions that The Public does NOT SUPPORT, all without presenting them The Options of what’s possible with their Common-Wealth and how it could be doing the greatest benefit for the community. How much nicer would Denver be if all the homeless people instead had homes? Instead that SOB wants them to freeze to death and be exhausted into treachery and thereby fatal mistakes, addiction and hanging out with similarly oppressed ruffians and having no option to restore normalcy, no shower, no wardrobe, no washing machine, no bed, no sleep, no job and so on. That SOB just wants kick backs from his buddies for SCREWING OVER the public.

  11. Dan Kelley on said:

    Stan, your concerns are invalid. These are reasons to equip the village with solar ovens and a lavatory. They’re not reasons to perpetuate homelessness and deny people a bed in which to lay their head at night and a place to keep a wardrobe. What you’re saying is, it’s not enough and that’s right, but it’s a start and clearly it should be done and they should have these tiny homes if it’s all they can afford. You can make cheap solar panels with copper sheet and aluminum foil painted with graphene, which is thin “seal and peal” paint and graphite powder. Solar panels as such perform on par with silicon based photovoltaic cells. So, if people were looking to install solutions, like put a vertical axis wind turbine in the park on a tower and channel that electricity to the tiny homes and gift each home a toaster oven, these problems could be solved. Another solution to ensure people sleep warm is sub zero degree rated mummy style sleeping bags and a low hung bed tent off of the bed posts. All these solutions are ultra cheap and would easily solve the homeless conundrum for fair comfort afforded these homeless folk and then they could spend their time and energy and that peace of mind they gained by having a tiny home, to work on solving their life for gainful employment. Instead, you and the vicious cronies on the city council are apparently murderous and want not only to not help any homeless person, you want to stand in the way of those who are trying to help them and by such you’re literally murdering people, who are suffering deadly conditions of sleeplessness and freezing cold and addiction in the midst of being horribly abused by society at large and powerlessness to do anything about it. These people need help, they don’t sons of b*tches to sabotage the plans of those who are trying to help them. God damn you’re some vicious SOBs.

  12. Dan Kelley on said:

    @Denver Social Worker – I don’t know about those programs you listed there, but most “PROGRAMS” for the homeless I’ve ever heard of were laden with hoops to jump through, restrictions on liberties, curfews, drug tests, meetings with miserable people, councilors, doctors and whatever else. Homeless people would rather just stay living on the street, than deal with all that nonsense, especially if they’ve been around the block a few times, they know it’s not going to be any better living going into 1 of those “programs”, that it’s only going to be a bunch of misery and it’s not going to deliver them to gainful employment or a life of meaning, it’s just going to be a huge hassle, to get regular meals and sleep indoors, which will probably be fleeting. So, that’s why there’s a high density of homeless people who won’t take advantage of those programs, is because they don’t want to be programmed, they want to live free and not be forced into arbitrary compliance for a bed and a meal.

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