While ensuring that housing is affordable and that communities have appropriate services is important, even more critical is ensuring that individuals and families have the opportunities to work and to make wages that enable them to afford housing, transportation, food and other needs. This can sometimes be achieved through traditional employment, but a new movement is also underway in the Denver metro region to explore other community wealth building strategies such as worker cooperatives and employee stock ownership plans. Cooperatives and employee stock ownership plans allow profits to remain in their respective community. These models connect residents and businesses, while allowing individuals to take control of their economic future.
Mile High Connects participates on Community Wealth Building Network’s design team, a group charged with developing the vision for the first phase of work, as well as the Urban Cooperative Center Advisory Council. To further connect residents to economic opportunities, Mile High Connects is investing in exploration of cooperative development in specific geographic areas, to test and expand access to this kind of economic opportunity for low-income communities throughout the region.
The percentage of people living in poverty increased by 100% of counties in Metro Denver since 1990.
has been the average wage growth since 2005. The average cost of rental housing was 22% in the same period.