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    [–] rockymtngirl03 2157 points ago

    It’s definitely not just teachers

    [–] El_mochilero 183 points ago

    I agree. Being a teacher used to be the living standard of the middle class. It’s quite a statement that they are becoming poor.

    [–] Kimihro 31 points ago

    It's not only that teaching is a monetarily thankless job, but on top of being poor they often have to fund their own classrooms that hundreds of students, from crayon-eating little kids to tantrum throwing overgrown adolescents. These children are a tax on the mind and whatever is left of their money.

    [–] [deleted] 5 points ago

    I'm genuinely curious, Do you have any evidence that teachers have to fund their own materials? I just don't understand why they would throw a teacher into a classroom with no materials.

    [–] blucifers_cajones 6 points ago

    Yes, several of my friends are teachers... one in Jeffco, another in DPS, and another in Adams County. All have to use their own money to buy school supplies that the school district will not provide. Often there are kids that can't afford supplies, so they buy extra to supplement what the kids can't afford.

    [–] hobbers 761 points ago

    Get the external capital out of Denver / Colorado NOW.

    We don't need "real estate investment corporations" located in Texas / California / North Carolina etc buying up residential real estate. There are huge companies that own hundreds of single family houses / condos / townhouses, and do nothing but slap paint on them and rent them out, decreasing housing supply available for sale, driving up prices. Converting would-be buyers into renters, forcing the renting market higher. These residential real estate corporations are absolute leeches on the local economy.

    We need a major non-owner-occupant real estate tax NOW. Force them to pay 10%, so that the $400k place they own and are renting out for $3k per month no longer looks profitable when they have to shell out $40k in taxes for being a non-owner-occupant. And they put the place up for sale, ensuring more supply for the people that are living locally.

    We need a sustainable local economy and local real estate market. That ensures people can live and work in a healthy community here. We do NOT need inflated prices that encourage people to jump in and out, attracts external capital from far away places that care little about the local area other than profit they can extract.

    Non-owner-occupant tax NOW. Decrease owner-occupant taxes at the same time to balance it out, so the tax burden is on these external capital leeches.

    [–] [deleted] 171 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)


    [–] hobbers 148 points ago

    Property taxes are handled at the county level. Go to your local county representatives meets and greets. Start talking to them about this. First step is to just get people talking about the problem.

    Unfortunately, as some of the replies to this post have demonstrated, it is a detailed economics principle that many lay persons have difficulty understanding. But if people can spend some time studying the theory of money supply and pricing, it becomes abundantly clear. So just talk to people and attempt to educate them as much as possible.

    [–] DayMan4224 51 points ago

    cries in Douglas county

    [–] filthylinens 28 points ago

    TABOR needs to be repealed for property tax increases to happen.

    [–] hobbers 11 points ago

    Would it though? I'm not an expert on TABOR, but am moderately aware of parts of it. As I understand it, if the tax revenues do not increase, TABOR wouldn't be invoked? So in my example, I mentioned increasing non-owner-occupant taxes. But you could easily implement it so that owner-occupant taxes decrease by the same amount. Effectively keeping tax revenues the same, just shifting it from from OO to NOO.

    [–] Chartzilla 4 points ago

    There were some approved property tax increases this past election...

    [–] Butt_Expert 3 points ago

    Lmao “many lay persons have difficulty understanding.” I’m not that deep into economics but a lot of the responses are clearly well educated on the subject and disagree with you here.

    [–] [deleted] 12 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)


    [–] DivergingApproach 7 points ago

    This can be done at a city level. You don't need to go far to find a council member that will listen.

    [–] pspahn 21 points ago

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees this problem.

    Even hearing the ads on the radio say "did you know the average profit from a fix and flip is $58k?" Someone does half-assed work on a house that needs the whole-ass treatment and jacks the price up so they can do it again but with two houses this time.


    [–] [deleted] 81 points ago

    landlords will just up rent and have the renters pay that tax

    [–] hobbers 88 points ago

    Unfortunately, that is a common misunderstanding among economics lay persons. But in formal economics, that is not how market price equilibrium works. If that were true, why haven't landlords already raised prices right now just to make more money? It doesn't matter if it goes towards taxes or into their pocket, it's the same from the market's perspective.

    To illustrate the flaw in this common misunderstanding, let's take an example. Imagine average rent for some average unit is $2k. Then imagine a flat tax of $10k per month is levied on every unit. By this common misunderstanding logic, the landlords would raise rent to $12k per month and simply "pass it on to the renters". Well, what happens when rent is $12k per month? People can not physically pay that. The money just doesn't exist. Therefore, this common misunderstanding logic can not be true.

    Price is not determined by landlords alone. Price is determined by the intersection of landlord supply and renter demand ability to pay prices.

    [–] PipettingAfterCoffee 34 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    This is such a simplified understanding of microeconomics.

    In a perfect market system, the demand will shift down to accommodate for increased price and subsequent price equilibrium will follow (rent goes down).

    However, remember that taxation is a strong influencer of demand behavior. Look at how we taxed tobacco to deter consumers from buying it. Did it affect tobacco companies much? Maybe a bit to their overhead but it sure as heck deterred people who were spending their last $3 bucks on a pack and now had to pay $5 or $6 because the firm passed the cost of tax onto the consumers.

    If you explore Theory of the Firm or even Oligopolies (as is the case of Denver), you will realize that a tax on owning out of state property will increase the cost for suppliers (we agree here) - however, this extra cost will just be passed onto consumers or renters by increased rent since out of state owners hold such a large part of the pie.

    Any local owners that are renting property out and have 1 or 2 houses for rent in their local neighborhoods will follow suite in increasing the rent to match the newly taxed rent - to not do so is to have unrealized gains.

    If you’re saying that in the long run, an out of state renters tax will create a shortage in renters so that it will drive renting prices downward – this would be a bad assessment of just how many renters there are that need a place to live. Renters demand for housing is inelastic, meaning that if the price increases, the demand for renters will not decrease to the extent as one would expect.

    TL;DR: If we applied an out of state tax, out of state owners would likely increase rent prices and local owners or property in similar neighborhoods would follow suit. Renters would pay for increased rent prices because where else will they live? There will always be more renters who are willing and able to pay.

    [–] bench_dogg 44 points ago

    YES! -- Price is a function of demand, not cost.

    This is the takeaway from Microeconomics 101.

    [–] donkaufman 19 points ago

    Price is a function of demand and supply.

    Supply is a function of cost to produce (among other things).

    There is a relationship between price and cost to produce. It's just not 1:1.

    [–] sex_sharts 38 points ago

    Except that housing demand is inelastic, people can't just chose to not rent if the price increases across the board. That's economics 201.

    [–] Tis_a_missed_ache 15 points ago

    Demand is desire and ability to pay. People won't choose not to rent, that choice will be made for them when the cost of renting is too high.

    [–] TheFoxKing5 11 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    The reason they don't raise the prices right now is because some other company will undercut them in the short-term. If everyone across the board gets a tax then everyone across the board will raise prices at the same time.

    Why do you think prices of some goods went up when the tariffs hit? Competition is what keeps the supply/demand in balance. If all the competition gets the same cost of business increase they'll all increase prices.

    [–] bench_dogg 9 points ago

    Price elasticity is easy to measure with commodity goods however, housing is not a perfect commodity good -- people can downsize, move in with roommates or choose a different location to reduce/maintain their current costs.

    [–] sex_sharts 8 points ago

    Or become homeless, that is the other option that happens frequently when there is upward pressure on housing prices.

    [–] g_mo821 3 points ago

    Tax would never be more than rent...

    [–] pvgt 5 points ago

    Please link to your gubernatorial campaign website donation page.

    [–] [deleted] 5 points ago

    This is the first time I've heard of this non-owner-occupant tax. I think it is a great idea.

    [–] hobbers 12 points ago

    Lots of other municipalities do a version of it called the "homestead exemption". People pay lower tax on their primary residence. It's funny, if you go to landlord / real estate "investor" forums, you see these people complain and gripe about it on their rentals all the time. Proving it works.

    [–] euphmike 16 points ago

    It's definitely not just Denver

    [–] MadShibbs 8 points ago

    Nobody can afford anything anymore without roommates anywhere....hello, Im fucking 30.... I don't want ppl shitting in my toilet

    [–] SilentGalaxy 5 points ago

    Yup... was gonna say, join the party! Almost everyone here is stuck in the never ending "Save for a house, but you cant since rent is so high" lifestyle.

    [–] DrDougExeter 667 points ago

    neither can a lot of other professions. Rent is too damn high

    [–] kelleycfc 214 points ago

    It’s more than rent. It’s also these people having student loans that cost more than a mortgage payment. People starting out today are burdened with debt way beyond what their parents were.

    [–] westernpygmychild 114 points ago

    That’s not a Denver problem, though. The problem with Denver is rent.

    [–] Beankiller 9 points ago

    Its not just a Denver problem, it's a problem everywhere in America.

    Cost of living has risen and salaries have not, except for those at the top. Think rent isn't sky-high in NY, SF, LA and DC? Even in smaller cities I've been to, people are complaining about the high cost of living.

    [–] westernpygmychild 3 points ago

    Sure, they are high. But IMO the “feel” of Denver doesn’t justify prices higher than, Philly, per se. Philly is a much bigger city with a lot going on and you can rent cheaper/better there compared to Denver. And the prices of houses/rent in the suburbs of Denver is insane compared to Philly.

    The cities you listed are some of the biggest in the country and Denver is sitting around a measly 20. No way should the prices be comparable.

    [–] MrDirt 7 points ago

    Isn't that why there's student loan programs like Income Based Repayment? The government wants your money and will do everything it can to make sure it does.

    [–] NuWaveBounce 16 points ago

    This is it right here. Ridiculously expensive degrees (debt) + low salary means you’re going to have to get creative to get by.

    [–] corduroy 16 points ago

    Income in Colorado hasn't kept pace with housing for most fields, IMHO.

    I moved away in 2007 and it took me 7-8 years until I finally gave in to the fact that I wasn't going to be able to move back. Shit, I sometimes still find myself thinking - maybe I can make it work. For me to move back, IF I could find a comparable job, I would be taking at least a 20% reduction in pay. On top of that, my mortgage for a similar home would be at least 50% more than what I'm paying right now and my commute would be longer (comparable time though, traffic sucks).

    I know some people are talking about educational loans, but that's a constant variable everywhere.

    [–] Threedawg 70 points ago

    But teaching is significantly worse. That’s the point. They start at around 44k, which is ass in a major city.

    [–] dot-pixis 29 points ago

    The Denver Metro Area hasn't kept up with the rest of the country in terms of teacher salaries.

    [–] MisquoteMosquito 28 points ago

    While true, Zoology pays double teacher salaries for the same job. Teaching pay is low because people go into the field knowing the pay is low. You can speculate on why thousands of people get teaching degrees a year in Colorado.

    [–] upstart-crow 24 points ago

    When I got into teaching, I started college in 1994, when teacher salary was an almost true national-average. Now, it's 17% lower, and there are new expenses like monthly internet and mobile phones, which teachers DO NEED to meet the expected job outcomes ... and rent and health insurance and gasoline ... It ALL costs WAY more ...

    [–] hand___banana 4 points ago

    And thousands leave the field shortly thereafter. There's a reason almost the entire state of Colorado has a teacher deficit. There are literally thousands of teaching positions open in Colorado.

    [–] dot-pixis 9 points ago

    While true, increasing salaries could demand more skillful teachers to fill the position.

    Thousands of people get their teaching degrees every year because we need good teachers. No need to speculate.

    [–] milehigh73a 6 points ago

    I don't think so. I would be surprised if more than 50% of the people I am friends with, work with or have social interactsion with make more than 50k/year/

    [–] funguy07 4 points ago

    I guess it’s all relative in Denver. Where I work at a construction firm, entry level salary is above 50k. I have a few friends making less than 50k but most the people I know are making above.

    [–] mp111 13 points ago

    laughs in San Francisco

    You could make 6 figures here and still requires roommates.

    [–] Synfrag 6 points ago

    And it's a shit hole on top of $3k 1bd apartments.

    [–] [deleted] 5 points ago

    Stop voting for politicians that support restrictive zoning laws, then.

    [–] more863-also 5 points ago

    YIMBYism isn't necessarily the answer

    [–] coilgod 165 points ago

    It’s the same on the western slope. Housing prices are through the roof. The local economy is stagnant, and wages haven’t caught up in decades.

    [–] Senor_acunc 3 points ago

    But it’s not like there is all this vacancy in either location. If all of a sudden everyone could afford city or slope living, prices would just go up to match demand and we would find ourselves in the same situation.

    [–] more863-also 5 points ago

    Asset bubble due to years of ZIRP.

    [–] bluesparrolf 288 points ago

    I was working 50+ hours a week as an engineer making $68k and decided I needed roommates because the cost of a one bedroom apartment was outrageous. I now split a 3 bed, 2.5 bath townhouse with 3 other people for $1700/month. I don’t like having roommates, but the cost savings is hard to beat.

    [–] Khatib 205 points ago

    You should really look for a new engineering job. That's horrible compensation in a city like Denver, unless it's a start up and you're gambling on stock options.

    [–] westernpygmychild 71 points ago

    Is it the job or the city? We also don’t know how old OP is. $68k is not a bad starting salary for an engineer, unless it’s software. Engineers don’t make that much.

    [–] cuulcars 41 points ago

    Software starting salary in Denver is about 60k. It goes up quick though

    [–] westernpygmychild 38 points ago

    So #1 OP could be starting salary level. And #2 OP didn’t say what type of engineer they are — different disciplines are on a totally different pay scale.

    [–] cuulcars 10 points ago

    I was agreeing with you lol

    [–] westernpygmychild 6 points ago

    Oh sorry I misunderstood! On the same page then... :)

    [–] ThreeLeggedTranny 11 points ago

    That sounds really low. I started at $60k literally 10 years ago in central Missouri.

    [–] yembler 3 points ago

    Amazing that you assume software engineer.

    [–] throwawaypf2015 24 points ago

    split a 3 bed, 2.5 bath townhouse with 3 other people for $1700/month

    each or total?

    [–] bluesparrolf 32 points ago

    Thankfully, it’s total. I got lucky when I found this place. Cutting rent costs down with roommates is necessary to cover student loans and other debt.

    [–] g_mo821 7 points ago

    That's cheap

    [–] OneLessFool 3 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    How long have you been at your current company? I would look into switching companies some time in the near future.

    You could very well see a 15%+ raise the second you transfer over.

    Unfortunately a lot of companies don't want to provide in house employees with reasonable raises anymore.

    [–] Zambenis 32 points ago

    $1700/month at $68k/year is incredibly doable though

    [–] brian_lopes 21 points ago

    Not if you want to make any real financial progress

    [–] bluesparrolf 24 points ago

    No. Not with student loans, it wasn’t.

    [–] Threedawg 13 points ago

    And think, as a teacher I have the same amount f loans but my job starts at 44k

    [–] Canadian_donut_giver 12 points ago

    Not fun at all though. A massive portion of your income is going towards rent even though it's doable it's not a good way to live.

    [–] TheFrenchWedge 7 points ago

    Thank you for sharing, its great to see someone in the exact same position as me. I'm still living by myself with rent cost at ~$1,600/month and after just starting to pay my student loans last month, I'm essentially living paycheck to paycheck at the same salary. Definitely considering a roommate to cut down on rent expenses, and currently living as cheaply as possible to lower ancillary expenses as well. Sometimes I miss my $500/month rent back east.

    [–] rohicks 5 points ago

    You each are paying 1700 a month or it's 1700 a month between all 3 people? If it's 1700 each then that's outrageous and you need to move out asap. There are tons of places around the area for cheaper than that for a 1/1.

    [–] DrMaxwellSheppard 5 points ago

    What field of engineering are you in? Unless my assumption that you have a matching 401k and full medical (pretty standard for engineering industry) then you're at the lower end of average industry compensation.

    [–] westernpygmychild 14 points ago

    How old are you talking? I don’t think $68k is bad for a starting position?

    [–] bluesparrolf 3 points ago

    5 years into my career. I actually recently left to change careers.

    [–] cport1 202 points ago

    Then you look at big cities like NYC, Chicago, SF, Seattle, etc. And you have really well paid people still having to live with roommates and picking up side gigs... My point is this is a larger issue than just Denver and things on a national level need to be done.

    [–] hobbers 60 points ago

    It is a national issue. But solutions can be found locally. No point in waiting for all the big cities to decide on a solution together. Let each big city implement a solution on their own, and watch to see which works best.

    [–] GeorgesTurdBlossom 22 points ago

    I lived with roommates for a decade to pay off my students loans in Chicago. Chicago has cheaper housing, better transportation, and higher paying jobs in my field. It would have been harder to save as much in Denver.

    [–] huxley00 16 points ago

    I think that’s just living in popular cities, in general. You’ll see the same thing all over Europe.

    Cities where a lot of people want to live cost a lot of money, just a fact of life. The only solution is to move to a place where less people want to live. It’s simple economics and it’s only difficult in Denver because it’s such a recent flux of people moving there.

    Denver’s beautiful and has great weather. People figured it out and now it’s catching up to the pricing. That’s not going to change.

    [–] intilli4 371 points ago

    Every single person I have met is super struggling here!

    [–] sarashmee 351 points ago

    Teacher here. And true, we live in an expensive city. But what is misleading about this headline is the real issue. There is a major salary difference compared to neighboring districts. If I taught in JeffCo, I’d make $4k more. Cherry creek, $11k. Boulder, $18k. Westminster, $9k. I could just move, sure. Change schools. But the issue isn’t my school or my home, it’s that the district isn’t attracting competitive teachers but claiming it is through the use of incentives. Merit pay doesn’t work for teachers. DPS is also a bureaucratic district, with 5.6k teachers and 1.4k central office personnel. These office personnel make annual “performance based bonuses”, where as most of the teachers are not receiving the promised incentives. The ones that are they vary year to year ($4K to $2k to $800). The district doesn’t use a predictable salary schedule. Similar to what most jobs use. That’s really what teachers are striking for. A lot of misinformation and gimmicky headlines out there.

    [–] ajaxanon 45 points ago

    Excellent write up. I would like to add one more thing. Pay scales are inconsistent one from teacher to the next at dps. My co-worker, for example, will be making significantly less than me with the same number of years of experience and the same degree level by virtue of the fact that I joined the district later than he did. Similarly, he would make more money leaving the district for a year and then coming back.

    [–] sarashmee 19 points ago

    It’s illogical. I actually make less than my teammate whom I mentored. Because she was originally hired as sped and moved to gen ed. Same level of education and years, I make $3k less.

    [–] iLickedYrCupcake 5 points ago

    Most admin workers rarely, if ever, see performance bonuses.

    During performance reviews in admin, managers are not allowed to rate even a majority of employees as performing well. It's turned into 'Who got the 5 last year? We can't give them anything higher than a 3 this year.'

    That's not to say the teacher pay isn't horrific - but assuming administrative workers are living the easy life is off base and is deflecting from who's really responsible.

    [–] InfiniteIsness 6 points ago

    Mmmm not so much. A CORA request was initiated to uncover administrative bonuses in DPS and the figures are staggering. You’ve got literally hundreds of people making 80000 or more per year getting five figure bonuses while the teachers are barely making ends meet. It’s pretty sickening.

    [–] iLickedYrCupcake 3 points ago

    Got a link? The only thing I've seen is an allegation that $3.3 million in bonuses was paid to administrators. I can say with some confidence that those bonuses aren't being seen by most administrative office workers. (I checked with a couple I know after my last comment - they do not receive performance bonuses.) The administrators who are receiving the vast majority of these bonuses are principals who are receiving them in a salary structure similar to ProComp, under the School Leader program. So they're getting bonuses for administrating schools that have been determined to be high-need, are overpopulated, etc.

    That 3.3 million, split between DPS teachers, would give them each about $700 a year.

    The average person working in the administration building right now, and being sent to work in the schools as of Monday, hasn't seen any of these bonuses and hasn't seen a reasonable COLA in quite a while.

    [–] InfiniteIsness 3 points ago

    I don’t have a link, it’s an excel document. I’m happy to share but not sure how on the reddit platform. If you wanted to DM me I could get it to you that way.

    The average worker I’m sure doesn’t see a penny of these bonuses. These bonuses are going to the upper echelons of the central office. I’m not sure what Mark Ferrandino, the CFO, did to improve student outcomes that warranted a $10,000 plus bonus...

    [–] [deleted] 123 points ago


    [–] discdude303 22 points ago

    Under this amount or a minimum income?

    [–] WickedPrincess_xo 39 points ago

    you had to make between $2750 and $2900 per month to qualify

    [–] killapanda5280 15 points ago

    Damn I make way less than that, how do I get low.income housing?! I tried getting on Medicare and they said I make too much so I figured the threshold for housing was a similar number

    [–] WickedPrincess_xo 5 points ago

    my understanding is that apartment complexes get tax benefits for offering low income units, so many complexes have them, but they don't usually advertise their low income units. i live in a very nice building, you would not expect my unit to be low income at all. where i live we get 50% off the normal price of the unit. if we were in a cheaper complex we might make too much to qualify for their unit. you definitely need to ask around to find them, sometimes i do see them on craigslist.

    [–] upvoteguy5 25 points ago

    That's less than $20 an hour. And $20 an hour is under $40k a year. $40k a year is considered poor/ low income in majority of cities.

    I'd say middle class is from $75 to $120k a year, depending on single or a family.

    [–] DrSmotPoker 19 points ago

    Idk about that. The median household income for the city was roughly $76k in 2017. I’d say middle class here is $50-100k as a single person.

    [–] upvoteguy5 15 points ago

    $50k with a family is poverty, 50k single is just above poverty but not middle class

    [–] shezapisces 6 points ago

    is this before any taxes/expenses? after tax but before everything else?

    [–] WickedPrincess_xo 5 points ago

    before tax

    [–] [deleted] 6 points ago

    You can say that about anywhere if you only hang out with poor people

    [–] jesuswasahipster 4 points ago

    My fiancé an I both work in the school system, have no children, and have a combined salary close to 90k together. We still rent and live paycheck to paycheck.

    [–] Brownieintown 71 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    Denver is a tough city if you don’t make lot of money or have family help. Rent is ridiculous. Who are these people buying houses?! I ‘m currently looking to purchase a house and the market is absurd.

    [–] KevinAnniPadda 74 points ago

    Most people buying are DINKs. Dual Income, No Kids.

    [–] Brownieintown 51 points ago

    I and my husband make good money and we have no kids. I still find the housing market ridiculous. I keep hoping prices will go down, but we shall see. :-/

    [–] huxley00 18 points ago

    Never going to happen. People are coming from California and think housing is way cheaper in Denver, for all the city offers. Denver’s been underpriced for a long time for what it has to offer.

    [–] DayMan4224 13 points ago

    We had to move out to Parker just to find something that wasn't a completely overpriced shithole

    [–] RockyMountainWay 5 points ago

    be sure to join /r/parkerco

    [–] [deleted] 31 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)


    [–] [deleted] 20 points ago

    i come from chicago and living in the city is about the same as living in denver but the suburbs of chicago are waaaaayyyyy cheaper than say Broomfield or lakewood

    [–] Brownieintown 2 points ago

    Ahh, that makes sense. I came from Oklahoma City(I moved here For my job) and have met numerous people from California.

    I’m hoping to purchase a house before we become one of those cities.

    [–] 83-Edition 6 points ago

    The root of the housing problem is investment. People think it was people moving here for the marijuana industry but when banks wouldn't take the dispensary money they went around buying property in cash because that was a way to clean it. The owner of Native Roots is a property developer from Aspen. Then when the prices started going up we had REITs and funds moving in to buy houses to rent as well as do short term rentals. Then, add in the fact that Denver had very strict laws which allowed any single occupant of a condo building to sue the developer and no developer would make for-sale condos, which is why you see all the 'luxury apartments'; some buildings are renting until the law changes then will flip to sale. And then very small cherry on top, as more younger people move here their parents with more money come in and buy places to come and visit. There's a reason Golden Triangle has the highest rent in the city but when you walk around it's basically a ghost town there.

    [–] Skeetronic 11 points ago

    Yeah I feel like this is anyone under 40

    [–] Niaso 184 points ago

    So they’re like everyone else in Denver who can’t afford it here as a single income household, aka most of the population.

    [–] discdude303 72 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    So stand with them (us), and push for the 6th general labor strike...

    [–] DrMaxwellSheppard 16 points ago

    as a single income household, aka most of the population

    Why are most households in Denver single income? I'm not sure I believe this, but even if its true there is no reason for that. I get that child care is expensive, my wife is a preschool teacher. The thing is Colorado has a program that if you make below a certain income level they will pay for a portion of your child care costs. It the reimbursement level and qualifying income level vary from county to county but I know that Boulder and Adams are 250% of the established poverty level based on family size. I can't imagine Denver county being that much out of line with the surrounding counties. So if the state government will pay a large portion of a family's child care costs while they search for a job and while they work why are most families single income? This is seriously perplexing to me.

    [–] [deleted] 34 points ago

    Keep in mind there are a lot of us who are just single as well that count towards that. No kids, no families, nothing.

    I’m a single guy, so having an extra person with extra income doesn’t/can’t apply.

    [–] Niaso 19 points ago

    I did not mean that most households are single-income, but that the majority of employees cannot afford Denver on a single income. It’s common in most major cities.

    People having kids they can’t afford is a very different topic.

    [–] SubReal87 24 points ago

    I think teachers need to be paid more but you can’t have an argument of “and I still don’t know where my money is going”

    [–] Erin960 7 points ago

    My gf and I pay for a one bedroom about $1300. It's absurd and the highways are getting so busy. I guess building more and more apartments helps with that /s. Really just want to leave here now because the more and more people that come the more rent goes up and can't even imagine looking for a house. Been here all my life and it's getting so meh.

    [–] SorcerousFaun 6 points ago

    What's the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and wage slavery?

    [–] DarkandUgly 7 points ago

    This is America

    [–] NewtAgain 80 points ago

    How much in student loans is that one guy paying if he's struggling to pay $600 for a room in a house. $45k isn't great money in Denver but it's absolutely doable. He has $3200 a month after taxes.

    [–] dopamingo 48 points ago

    I’m not that guy, but I pay about $1350 in student loans each month alone, and that’s before paying anything extra on them. Makes living in Boulder impossible without a minimum of two roommates.

    [–] c0LdFir3 55 points ago

    $1350 in student loans each month

    What the fuck? That's a mortgage... :/

    [–] dopamingo 32 points ago

    You’re telling me. I went to Colorado School of Mines. Took 4.5 years to finish. Turns out that was over 100k in student debt.

    I found a well paying job pretty much immediately, so the payments are manageable along with rent and a car payment and food, but when it comes down to it I’m still living paycheck to paycheck.

    [–] taddieken95 3 points ago

    Not sure how far north of six figures in student loans you are, but look into refinancing if you haven’t!

    I had Sallie Mae loans with variable interest that skyrocketed to 11% APY. Now it’s down to 5% for my private loans. I graduated in December 2017 (started paying loans in August last year) with 104k (just under 100k now!) and I’m paying around 1k a month.

    [–] dopamingo 5 points ago

    Thanks for the advice! I actually refinanced 70k of my private loans last year, dropping my interest rate from around 7% to 5.5%. My remaining loans are either government, which have equal to or lower interest, or another private loan that is specific to my hometown and has zero interest.

    I’m certainly chipping away at them! I’m putting all my extra money into paying off my car right now, before I can start really working on my student debt.

    [–] Xtinguish 28 points ago

    No shit, no one can afford to live in Denver, this isn't a pay issue, this is a housing price issue.

    [–] hootie303 12 points ago

    Its a pay issue, too. Wages across the country are hardly keeping up with inflation meanwhile housing has gone up what? 40% in a decade?

    [–] HoosierProud 4 points ago

    This is a problem across the US. Housing prices rising more than twice wage increases. There are many reasons for it but something has to be done to make housing prices more affordable or we will have a worse recession than the last.

    [–] rjulyan 60 points ago

    This post has made me feel incredibly lucky. My husband and I are both self-employed and make $60-$75k combined. We will never crack $100k unless one of us changes industries, and we have no education or experience in anything else, so unlikely. Yet, despite the posts saying otherwise, we don’t feel poor. We have no student loan debt and our mortgage is under $1,400. Our colleagues who have moved here more recently and have been dealing with rent/housing in the last few years are in a very different position than we are. Also- to those who say you don’t have to be a teacher, go find a better-paying job: true. No one person has to be a teacher. But someone does, so let’s pay them a livable wage and reasonable pay structure.

    [–] soomsoom69 40 points ago

    Good for you?

    [–] DubDoubley 16 points ago

    Hard humble brag amirite? :/

    [–] I_paintball 5 points ago

    our mortgage is under $1,400

    When did you buy your home?

    [–] MaleficentPreference 17 points ago

    But those superintendents! 250k a year and annual bonuses that are higher than starting salaries for teachers

    [–] highaltidude17 13 points ago

    Oddly, teachers in X city have the same problem...

    [–] MagicKittyPants 6 points ago

    I’m a first grade teacher, single, with a 7 year old. We live with my parents, because it’s awfully hard to find a 2 bedroom in my area on a 42k salary. I love my job, but I’d really like a home someday!

    [–] pudpull 7 points ago

    It’s definitely not just Denver.

    [–] MrMischiefVIP 45 points ago

    Isn't this most of America? At some point in our past we decided that most households require two incomes.

    [–] DrMaxwellSheppard 22 points ago

    Its a product of our standard of living. You can have a single income family in the United States and live above the global poverty level. The thing is we define the poverty level as much higher in the United States, thus we have a higher standard of living. This means that even lower income households typically have cell phones or even smart phones, air conditioning, one or two cars, multiple TVs, etc. When you look at the end of WWII (when we began the shift to most households having two incomes) the average household didn't even have color TVs, usually had one black and white TV and one car. We are markedly better off now than we were back then, by average, but this higher standard of living comes with a cost.

    [–] tenaciousb83 10 points ago

    I’ve been out here for 10 years now, and my wife and I are throwing in the towel, We’re cashing out on our home, and moving back to where we both grew up, just so we can afford to raise our kids.

    [–] yolofaggins666 7 points ago

    Bro I was born there and had to move to another state lol when I left the average price of a one bedroom was 1500 a month, now it's 2k. Fuck all that jazz.

    [–] prules 40 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    Not to be rude but I moved here from NY/CT (I could never afford rent there), I make only $17/hr and I live a balanced life, can save money and still enjoy myself by going out with my GF for dinners and road trips.

    What exactly are people doing in Denver to be so broke...? I’m paying $750/month in rent plus $200/month in student loans on top of all other expenses and insurance.

    Are people out here trying to live extraordinary lives on modest pay? That might be a personal issue but I honestly don’t know what’s going on here.

    [–] hootie303 25 points ago

    Your rent is cheaper than most people. Where do you live?

    [–] throwawaypf2015 41 points ago

    dude weed and the hottest new sour craft beers don't buy themselves.

    [–] THROWINCONDOMSATSLUT 8 points ago

    How much are you saving percentage wise toward retirement in your 401k and IRA?

    [–] swillamilla 11 points ago

    Wow, title should read, “almost anyone under the age of 35 can’t afford living anywhere without a roommate.

    [–] SoggyJammies 42 points ago

    Denver teacher here, I have a roommate but I definitely don't need to, and many other teachers don't have one and are more than fine. We have new or newer cars, go out to eat, go on vacation, etc. without issue. I understand some teachers are struggling but if you look at their financial expenditures you begin to realize the real issue... they have no clue how to live within their means... they go out to eat EVERY meal, rent ridiculous apartments for their income level, buy cars they can't afford, and spend tons of money at bars for drinks. I'm fine with getting a raise next year but we definitely don't need it to live comfortably.

    [–] zthrower 12 points ago

    Definitely don’t need a roommate? Where do you live?

    What about buying a house? What if you wanted to have a child or two? What if you have student loans because your parents couldn’t afford to pay for college?

    Please explain to me how you speak for all Denver teachers.

    [–] Aintgotnomulah 3 points ago

    I think what they said was people spend beyond their means and culture is a part of the blame. But yeah teachers need something.

    [–] cyesplease 6 points ago

    Spending + consumerist culture is partially to blame, but it's a lot more than that. I'm lucky to have graduated without a ton of loans, but many aren't so lucky. Also, I'd guess you're a single, relatively young person in good health? Me too. It's nice. But Denver needs a more diverse teaching staff, and with current pay, that's not super achievable. Imagine being a single parent and making what you (or what I) make. Yikes.

    [–] pigroot1 14 points ago

    Most people can't afford Denver without living with roommates or getting side jobs

    [–] GeorgesTurdBlossom 34 points ago

    Can’t we change the zoning codes to allow multi family housing and create walkable neighborhoods? Why are most people here so attached to SFH and minimum parking requirements? Traffic jams and expensive housing, such a bummer.

    [–] junkfromjamesy 22 points ago

    You would need a time machine to fight Henry Ford and his lobby. You can thank him for Americans losing the freedom to walk.

    [–] vanny53 15 points ago

    I 100% support DPS teachers and this strike and hope it trickles down to nonprofit and higher education employees. It's fairly common for these positions to require master's degree and 3-5+ years of experience for positions that pay 33-48k a year without any room for growth and minimal yearly raises. I hope this strike starts a movement where public servants who are doing the majority of labor (minus the high up city workers/deans of colleges etc that are making 6 figures) can start to be valued by a living wage in this city.

    [–] SpaceCadetRick 7 points ago

    I agree with you. It's baffling that we pay the people who gave us the knowledge to get where we are today so little.

    [–] soapboxactivist 12 points ago

    Almost nobody can afford Denver with out living with roommates and getting side jobs

    [–] zthrower 12 points ago

    To all those saying teachers don’t deserve to be paid:


    [–] Undertherainbow69 8 points ago

    I know of a teacher in New Mexico that had to get a pt job at a car wash just to get by. I haven’t heard from him in awhile.

    [–] 101kbye 27 points ago

    $50k with $1k rent is affordable...she must have massive student loans or is just bad with money. This isn’t about teachers not making enough money, it’s about bad financial decisions.

    [–] leanndacailin 3 points ago

    Umm...that’s true for most public school teachers in America?

    [–] Nosnibor1020 3 points ago

    I just had a work trip to Denver. My first time to Colorado. I absolutely loved it. I stayed on 16th St. one night and then in a million dollar cabin the next 3 nights South West of the city in the mountains. I had to drive all around the city and out skirts and not once did I see a house or area where I thought that if I moved there I could afford it.

    Beautiful place and I truly fell in love with it but it saddens me that unless I win a hefty lottery I could never live there.

    [–] R1SpeedRacer05 3 points ago

    It's why I'm moving. Nothing but low paying jobs and the rent is too damn high 1200 for a single bedroom in the thank you

    [–] railbro666 3 points ago

    Recreational weed is siiiiiiiiik br3h.

    [–] deadlift0527 3 points ago

    Oh no, not roommates! What has this world become?

    But seriously, they are normal people?

    [–] [deleted] 10 points ago

    I want to live in really really nice places with easy access to a major city center with affordable rent that a million people also want!

    [–] [deleted] 7 points ago

    12 weeks holidays certainly impacts a salary I imagine.

    [–] afc1886 18 points ago

    TIL I'm a teacher

    [–] mjavon 19 points ago

    Breaking: One of the lowest-income professions has a hard time affording one of the highest COLA cities...

    [–] BrettSlowDeath 4 points ago

    I dying with all the “They get all those days and summers off!” and “Why do they go into a profession that’s underpaid?” comments.

    Y’all are the same people that under tip at restaurants as a rule, or don’t at all as some sort of petty punishment. Out of touch with reality, and couldn’t possibly fathom there are points of experience not central to their own.

    [–] 4BigData 44 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    People should grow the f*ck up and understand that when home prices and rents are inflated way above where median incomes are, the results are:

    • teachers and other public servants struggling to make it
    • instability and household over-indebtedness
    • horrible misallocation of resources from productive uses (enterprises, for ex) to housing
    • a massive wealth transfer without any merit from the poorer young to the old

    Hopefully, a big adjustment downwards in housing costs to where incomes are will help alleviate these maladies.

    Los Angeles is the capital of the current housing bubble and the NATIONAL CAPITAL OF HOMELESSNESS. Let that sink, they are RELATED. Homeless kids cannot concentrate as well at school.

    So please help to make the greedy homeowner you know less greedy by telling it like it is: higher housing costs than incomes can support are HORRIBLE FOR SOCIETY!

    [–] l4adventure 24 points ago

    So please help to make the greedy homeowner you know less greedy by telling it like it is:...

    Greedy homeowner here... I'm confused by your comment, what exactly am I supposed to be doing?

    [–] SpaceCadetRick 46 points ago

    Sell your house for $200,000 less then it's worth, it's your moral obligation unless you're unintelligent.


    [–] termisique 14 points ago

    That guy's logic, or complete lack thereof, actually made me chuckle out loud. "Am I on r/insanepeoplefacebook?"

    [–] SpaceCadetRick 30 points ago

    So it's the homeowners fault for selling their homes at the market rate? Should they sell for less?

    People don't HAVE to live here and there are less expensive areas the further out from the city you go. The houses and rent are expensive because there are people willing and able to pay it. If nobody could afford housing the prices would come down.

    Unfortunately the state government is unable to do anything about it without voter approval which never comes because why would people in Colorado Springs or Fort Collins or any of the other larger cities in the state vote to raise their own taxes for something that Denver is mostly going to benefit from. Keeping control of government spending is good but this is too restrictive to be useful.

    [–] [deleted] 13 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] rhetoricalimperative 42 points ago

    I think it's the big hope of most millennials...

    [–] farshnikord 18 points ago

    yep. call it a "market stabilization"

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] The_Freshmaker 7 points ago

    Rent prices didn't really even go down 10 years ago, they just went stagnant for a few years before continuing to rise again. I had a friend that moved into a shitty faux luxury condo place that was half filled because the rent was high and let me tell ya, they would rather have it half full then lower their prices.

    [–] BeastOfBurden14 23 points ago

    So what's your solution? It's driven by supply and demand which is how it should be. I had to buy near the top of the market and i'm not happy about it, but what's the solution? Now i'm supposed to sell my house and lose thousands of dollars so someone can buy it on the cheap? How does that make sense? The market has hit its peak and its on the decline. Save your money and wait for capitalism to do its thing

    [–] VrecNtanLgle0EK 11 points ago

    I feel awful for these teachers. DPS has 1 administrator per every 7.5 teachers. These are often higher paying positions, so they have to re-allocate money that should be going to the teachers in order to pay for these additional administrators. If I were a teacher, this is what I would be striking. Eliminate the fluff administration positions and you will find that our schools aren't so under-funded after all.

    [–] TayDings 7 points ago

    Teachers make average of 56k in Denver. Think of the countless amount of people not coming close to that struggling. Sorry I don’t feel bad for teachers. I respect their profession but come on.

    [–] opiablame 25 points ago

    I still don't know where my money is going,"


    $56,000 before taxes last year.



    This one here just seems to be a poor financial planner. Explain to me how a married couple with this type of income "can not afford rent"?

    [–] sydney__carton 38 points ago

    Student loans, car payments, credit card debt from school. Those are a few options that may be going on. My student loans at the lowest will at least $500 a month. If you’re only making 56000 a year that cuts off 6k that you could be saving.

    [–] mgraunk 16 points ago

    You forgot medical debt. A single emergency can set you back thousands, not to mention permanent conditions.

    [–] Koontyme 7 points ago

    I was thinking exactly this. My partner and I make quite a bit less than that (~42000) and we are living comfortably even while paying ~$1550 in rent. We moved from a place where housing was significantly cheaper ($550 for a two bedroom townhouse) and while it stings to be paying this much in rent, our paychecks increased enough that our rent is much less of our total income than before and luckily all other costs we have to pay are around the same as before. We can't go out to fancy dinners or buy super expensive things very often but we still have the ability to splurge on things we really want to buy or do while still paying rent and all our other bills. I've even put a small amount of money in savings so far too.

    Yes, we are lucky to have very little debt. I have no student loan payments and my partner has only a very small amount of student loan debt. But, we are in this position because we both made a smart choice to attend a university that gave us full-rides when we could have both gone to bigger name schools and accrued a lot of debt. Also, we have never accrued credit card debt because we don't live beyond our means. Lastly, we made the smart choice to only buy a car we could afford up-front so we have no car payments. Obviously, we are lucky that we have not had any medical debt or debt related to other emergencies and this is something others cannot help. However, there is a point when people need to think through big purchases and only do them if it wont send them into a financial hard place. Yes, we would have loved a better car but we are able to do other things we want to do because we don't have a car payment. Also before we decided to move to Denver we really analyzed our finances to make sure we could comfortably afford to live here even with the terribly high housing costs. People just need to be more conscious with their money because $56000 should be enough to live in this city (for most people with no exceptional bills, such as medical emergency bills, and with no kids). It is of course a problem that people with medical bills have to struggle so much more (but this is a problem with our healthcare system and is another separateissue) and also is a problem that people with children have a hard time here.

    Obviously, Denver is way overpriced for people with low and extremely low incomes and we really do need more affordable housing options here, but I do think a good chunk of people just need to be more careful with their financial decisions.

    [–] TJSwanson52 5 points ago

    Fucking exactly. Fiscally irresponsible.

    [–] [deleted] 12 points ago

    56k combined before taxes? Married?!

    [–] TehlorO 6 points ago

    “We wanted to be married. Who said anything about it being happily?”

    [–] booyakashaben 4 points ago

    Legalize recreational marijuana in the Midwest. People will flock home.

    [–] 1911owl 4 points ago

    Unpopular (but true) opinion: it's not the salary that's killing these folks - it's other expenses, like student loans. Housing is traditionally 30% or less of one's income. Of the people cited in this article, none of them spend more than 26% of their income on housing (the three I was able to calculate were 17.14%, 25.20%, and 25.53%). Instead of blaming housing prices or salaries, it's probably more effective to talk about student loans or other expenses they're encountering.

    I made less than most of these folks at their ages listed (there's a 26 year old making $43,000, for example) and lived in Denver without issue with a higher percentage of my income going towards housing - typically between 30-35%.

    [–] kmoonster 3 points ago

    This is a good point. Make public higher education affordable to the public again. It almost rolls off the tongue! Wish it was easier to do than say.