To provide a strong case to the Colorado state legislature that more resources should be devoted to housing development, Housing Colorado, an NLIHC State Coalition Partner, joined with other housing advocates to produce Driving a Vibrant Economy: Housing’s Role in Colorado’s Economic Success. The report provides data demonstrating the economic impact of new and rehabilitated housing affordable to low income households. It also discusses approaches to expanded affordable housing in an environment of decreased or stagnant federal funding.
Data for all market-rate and subsidized home new construction and rehabilitation were used to calculate income generated, taxes collected, and jobs created due to housing production over three phases. The construction phase covers the nine-month period when a home is being built, tallying direct economic activity, while the induced phase covers the same period, calculating indirect economic activity. The occupancy phase covers the ten-year period after construction or rehabilitation.
For subsidized homes, the one-year combined state and local economic impact of building or rehabilitating 823 multifamily homes yields $113.1 million in local income, $20.9 million in taxes and other revenues for all local governments, and 1,657 full-time equivalent jobs. These figures help advocates counter opposition to subsidized housing in the legislature by showing that subsidized housing programs have a positive net economic impact on state and local budgets.
Driving a Vibrant Economy also concluded there is a shortage of 103,133 affordable rental homes for Coloradans earning less than $20,000 annually. At the current rate of construction of subsidized rental homes, it will take more than 100 years to address this shortage in Colorado.
Cost-burdened households, those that spend more than 30% of their income for rent and utilities, have less money to spend on other goods and services. Housing costs for these households crowd out other expenditures. A companion study within the report, focused on Adams County, found that spending for rent by cost-burdened households crowded out $170 million that would have been spent for other goods and services. Another $6 million in sales tax revenues were lost that could have been used to meet county and city operating budgets.
The report discusses various approaches local governments can consider to address the shortage of affordable housing, such as dynamic zoning codes, brownfield redevelopment, encouraging manufactured or modular housing, confronting NIMBYism through expanded neighborhood involvement, and allowing dwelling accessory units such as basements to be converted to market-rate rental apartments.
Driving a Vibrant Economy was commissioned by a coalition of housing and community development partners, including Housing Colorado, the Colorado Municipal League, Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University, the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Mile High Connects, and The Piton Foundation. The principal author of the report was Dr. Elliot Eisenberg of GraphsandLaughs, LLC.
“Building and rehabilitating housing of all types is important for the vitality of our economy,” said Sara Reynolds, Executive Director of Housing Colorado. “This report clearly shows that the development of subsidized housing has a strong and ongoing positive economic impact.”
For more information, contact Sarah Cole at email@example.com
Driving a Vibrant Economy: Housing’s Role in Colorado’s Economic Success is at http://bit.ly/1ABMOnP