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:
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.
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: Signed into law in 2019, this legislation establishes 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: Signed into law in 2019, this legislation enacts 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.