The Denver Police Department arrested 10 housing advocates and tore down a set of small, single-occupant dwellings they were attempting to build in the city’s Sustainability Park.
The group is protesting the sale of the land to a private developer which plans to build an upscale apartment complex.
“Today hundreds of people came out to Sustainability Park in the Curtis Park neighborhood of Denver to build a tiny home village where three urban farms are being displaced to build an apartment development,” the group said in a statement.
“The group, led by Denver Homeless Out Loud and composed of houseless people and supporters, had been constructing tiny homes and trying to find a location for the village for over a year,” the statement explained. “But due to zoning and code constraints they have not been able to find a legal place to put the houses.”
According to activists, the Denver Housing Authority eliminated hundreds of low-income housing units to create the park. For a time, the land was farmed by a group known as the Urban Farming Collective, but now the land is being sold to a developer, which will construct “multifamily housing that will support gentrification in Curtis Park” and drive rents upward and out of reach of current residents.
Saturday evening, police descended on the scene and arrested 10 people for trespassing and tore down the small village of homes the activists had built.
A homeless Denver man named Kevin Beasley told CBS News that watching police knock down the micro-homes was upsetting.
“People need to have hope that they can do something,” he said. “So to quash something like that in an instant is to rob them of a dream.”
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