Denver Homeless Activists Still Fighting For Village Of Tiny Houses

<p>(Sam Brasch/CPR News0</p>

Denver Homeless Out Loud has been trying to establish housing on a large empty lot in downtown Denver, and the activists defied an eviction notice for a tent village on the land Thursday.

"If we don't have a place to go, where are we suppose to live? Move along to where?" said Mike Hildenbrand, an organizer with the group. "All we are asking is a plot of land for these tiny home villages."

The city granted a grace period for the village until Dec. 20. And Denver City Council member Albus Brooks vowed to help them find a new place for what the activists call Resurrection Village.

The name is a nod to Martin Luther King Jr., who built Resurrection City on the National Mall to demand higher wages and access to decent housing in 1969.

The activists camped on the land since Oct. 25. That was a day after the group tried building tiny homes on the same land without permission. The action ended with 10 organization members arrested and the structures removed.

"We want the people of Denver to know we are here, we aren't going anywhere," said Sheridan Boddie, another activist.

It's no coincidence the organization keeps coming back to the same plot at 25th and Lawrence streets. The camp is on land that has been a public housing project and an urban farm. Last month, the housing authority sold the land to TreeHouse Brokerage and Development to build market-priced housing.

TreeHouse's plans for Sustainability Park include "townhouses and condominiums for sale from the high $200Ks" according to its website.Ten percent of the project is reserved for low-income housing. DHOL says that's not enough to combat Denver's growing homelessness problem.

The DHOL members say their long-term goal is to have a permanent, legal home for Resurrection Village. The group has outlined plans for the governance and maintenance of the village on its website.

"If anything it would enhance our community," said Boddie. "We want homes. We don't want to be incriminated for being homeless. We want to be accepted in public spaces."

The plan for Resurrection Village follows similar models in Austin, Texas and Portland, Oregon.