The Denver City Council recently authorized an expansion of its affordable housing fund from $15 to $30 million annually. It is estimated that this additional funding will allow for the creation and preservation of roughly 6,200 additional below-market homes over the next 10 years. The increase in funding will primarily come from the city’s general fund and through increased taxes on marijuana, which is legal for recreational use in Colorado.
The funding increase is in response to pressure from councilmembers and local housing advocates to ramp up the program in response to the city’s continuing population growth and increasing housing affordability crisis. Half of the new funding will go to the Denver Housing Authority, allowing the agency to take on $105 million in new debt to accelerate redevelopment construction projects and land purchases. The funding will also support the development of new housing projects, the preservation of existing affordable housing, and the creation of new housing assistance programs.
Since the launch of the fund in 2017, Denver has made concerted efforts to increase affordable housing and relieve housing insecurity. Prior to its expansion, the fund committed $24 million in subsidies for the construction of housing designated for low and moderate income people. The fund also committed $4 million toward preserving the affordability of income-restricted apartments whose restrictions were due to expire and, without preservation, could be converted to market-rate units. Finally, the fund has provided $3.8 million to pilot programs like the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program, which provides short-term assistance to residents struggling with rent and utility costs. The City plans to continue soliciting new ideas for affordable housing and housing assistance with these funds.
Read more about the fund expansion at: https://dpo.st/2wwVEXm
Read more about the affordable housing fund at: https://dpo.st/2Cij5dd