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Having trouble finding an affordable place to live in Denver?

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10/1/2013 11:15 AM  RssIcon

As promised, this week’s blog returns to City Council’s 2014 Budget Priorities with a discussion of affordable housing in Denver.  It is important to acknowledge that this topic is a complex issue that would be impossible to cover in depth in this blog. 

 In 2012, Mayor Hancock convened a Housing Task Force made up of housing experts representing private, non-profit, and public sector housing interests.  The task force looked at a variety of issues ranging from homelessness to special populations, while reviewing Denver’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO).   

The IHO was adopted by City Council in 2002 to address the gap in for-sale workforce housing.  Many people working in Denver as teachers, firefighters, sales clerks, etc. often can’t afford to live in Denver)  The goal of the IHO is to have 10% of for-sale units in developments of 30 or more units be affordable to people earning 80% of the Annual Median Income of Denverites as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.   In addition, these units have a governing covenant, are price fixed, and income restricted.    

For a complete listing of the issues analyzed by the task force see the table below or read the Denver Housing Policy Recommendations Report.

Councilmembers Ortega and Kniech represented City Council on this task force and both are working diligently with their colleagues to create policy solutions to increase access to affordable housing for Denverites.  By making affordable housing a 2014 Budget Priority, City Council is expressing their earnest interest in maintaining and increasing affordable housing in Denver..

On September 12, 2013, Mayor Hancock announced his 2014 budget proposal, which includes $3 million to launch an affordable housing fund to build new workforce housing units in Denver.  The Mayor’s 2014 proposal also commits another $1 million for homeless services.

Councilwoman Robin Kniech has been a champion of updating Chapter 27 Article IV - Affordable Housing of the Denver Revised Municipal Code - which is known as the Affordable Housing Ordnance - in order to provide more pathways to home ownership for lower-income individuals.  Click here to read an article written by Councilwoman Kniech concerning the IHO and affordable housing.

Tune in to Channel 8 over the next week to watch the final sessions of the 2014 Budget Presentations.  Click here to view the meeting schedule.  The Housing Task Force focused on the following issues -

Review of Policy Objectives and Housing Priorities

Financial Resources and Constraints

For-rent: Preservation and Development

For-sale: Foreclosures, Neighborhood Stabilization and Development

Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO)

Homeless Housing: Denver’s Road Home

Special Needs: Seniors, Youth, HIV/AIDS, Veterans, Disabled, Formulary Incarcerated


The next blog will examine another Council 2014 budget priority – accelerating the implementation of Public Works Solid Waste Management’s Master Plan.


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