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Impact By State

Colorado

Overview

Like many other parts of the country, Colorado's growth has resulted in significant housing affordability challenges. Combatting housing affordability issues in the state will require holistic solutions that address the needs of all Colorado residents.

Colorado has seen a sharp population increase, with 13.2% growth since 2010.

More than 717,000 Coloradans call an apartment home, with demand on the rise.

76% of extremely low-income renters spend more than half of their income on housing.

Between now and 2030, Colorado will need to build 7,178 new apartment homes each year to keep up with demand.

Legal Landscape

Legal Landscape

The state of Colorado preempts local municipalities from implementing rent control. According to Colorado legislation, “No county or municipality may enact any ordinance or resolution that would control rent on either private residential property or a private residential housing unit.”

Colorado
CONTINUE PREEMPTION

Rent control is an outdated concept. It benefits the very few.

REJECT PRICE CONTROLS

Lawmakers should reject price controls and, instead, pursue alternatives such as voucher-based rental assistance for those in greatest need to better address housing affordability.

Alternative Approaches

Many states have adopted programs and initiatives to tackle the affordability crisis. In Colorado, policymakers and the housing industry have made concerted efforts to address the problem. Examples include:

Capital Magnet Fund

In 2018, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority unveiled the Capital Magnet Fund, a new statewide housing fund. The fund aims to support the development and preservation of affordable rental housing in the state’s most vulnerable communities.

LIVE Denver

The Lower Income Voucher Equity Program (LIVE Denver) is a two-year pilot program built through public-private partnership to address immediate affordable housing needs in the Denver area by connecting vacant market-rate apartment units with workforce families and individuals. The intent of LIVE is to bridge the gap in contract rent and participant ability to pay through funds provided by the City of Denver, foundations and employers.

Colorado Housing Development Grant Funds

Created by the Colorado state treasury, the Housing Development Grant Fund provides funds for acquisition, rehabilitation and new development to preserve or expand the supply of affordable housing.

Bill to Expand Supply Affordable Housing

HB 19-1322: Establish in the Division of Housing a new state fund to provide on-going and sustainable funding for programs and projects that improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable workforce housing in Colorado. Possible revenue sources include General Fund, Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, Marijuana Cash Funds, and Gifts, Grants and Donations. 

Bill for Flexible Funding Opportunities and Incentives for Developers

HB 19-1319: Two policy changes to support private and nonprofit developers in initiating and sustaining affordable housing projects. Affordable housing developers are having difficulty obtaining financing from lenders because the claw back gives lenders too much discomfort. So, even though they are ready to build affordable units, developers cannot obtain the necessary financing to begin projects.

  • - Require an inventory of Public Lands Suitable for Affordable Housing Development.
  • - Limit claw back of property tax exemption fund for affordable housing projects. This will alleviate lenders' concerns which hinder development of sorely needed affordable and attainable housing. 

Bill for Expansion of the State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

HB 19-1228: The tax credit raises private sector equity needed to support the development and preservation of affordable housing. Expansion of the state's Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) would raise the cap of total allowed state tax credits for the program from the current $5 million to $10 million.​

Bill for a Tax Credit Employer-Assisted Housing Pilot Program

HB 19-1075: Creates a pilot tax credit for donations to nonprofit sponsors of employer assisted housing projects in rural areas of the state (defined as a nonmetropolitan county with 50,000 or fewer residents). Sets a maximum of $400 for the credit. Fiscal Note assumes reduction in revenue (credits claimed) of $218K in FY 19/20 and $436K in FY 20/21. Set up and ongoing cost to the Department of Revenue are $88K. 

Resources

Useful information to help address the housing affordability crisis.

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