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Affordable Housing Zoning Incentive

 

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Denver Community Planning and Development is partnering with the Office of Housing Stability (HOST) to find ways to encourage construction of affordable and mixed-income housing, particularly in transit-rich areas. City planners will work with community members and an advisory committee composed of residents, affordable housing advocates, City Council members, local housing builders, and others to create a citywide incentive program through updates to the Denver Zoning Code (DZC) and Denver Revised Municipal Code (DRMC).

The project is part of CPD's efforts to fulfill the Comprehensive Plan 2040's vision for an equitable, connected and healthy city and to put into place Blueprint Denver recommendations addressing the community's strong desire for more affordable housing options. 


Watch a project overview


Detailed Project Research and Analysis

The first phase of the citywide affordable housing zoning incentive project focused on evaluating and learning from the 38th and Blake RTD Station Area pilot project, among other projects and best practices from peer cities.

In the 38th and Blake pilot specifically, the city tested an incentive approach for achieving more affordable housing. The incentive was established in 2018 and was evaluated in early 2020.

Lessons learned from both the drawbacks and positive outcomes of the pilot:

  • A good incentive system should be simple and predictable, like a straight-forward requirement for a set % of affordable units within a project.
  • It should promote the construction of affordable homes onsite so Denver has more mixed-income buildings and communities.
  • To be effective, it should take into account market realities and strike a balance between current and potential entitlements.
  • Enforcement and longevity is key, so the system must be easy to track and monitor.
  • The 80% AMI level in the 38th and Blake pilot was good, but not enough. Citywide, affordability must be addressed at deeper AMI levels, where the most need is.

The full evaluation can be read in the Project Background Report (PDF), which also includes additional housing policy information and peer city research – all of which is helping inform and shape the creation of a citywide zoning incentive.

The draft Interim Alternatives Report builds on the background report by outlining the work done so far, recommended alternatives, and initial evaluation of incentive systems. It also includes information on recent market outcomes, and how the Blueprint Denver equity concepts will inform the incentive system. 

Download the Interim Alternatives Report (PDF)

Project Timeline

Community outreach will be part of every phase of the project.

Phase 1: Review of best practices and existing programs in Denver and other cities.

Phase 2: Evaluation of potential approaches

Phase 3: Selection of final approach and release of strategy report

Phase 4: Drafting of changes to the zoning and municipal codes

Phase 5: Review by Planning Board and City Council




Project Archive

FOCUS GROUP: Affordable Housing Developers
3-4:30 p.m., Thursday May 14, 2020 
Virtual Meeting Via WebEx

FOCUS GROUP: Business Improvement Districts
4-5:30 p.m., Tuesday May 19, 2020 
Virtual Meeting Via WebEx

Webinar: How Development Works
4:30-5:30 p.m., August 25
Virtual event via Zoom

Have you ever wondered what goes into the real estate development process? This one hour webinar is intended to provide attendees with a baseline understanding of the development process, from land acquisition to construction and key milestones between. We will also dive into the financial considerations that are used to determine if a project is feasible. The presentation will last about 45 minutes allowing 15 minutes for Q&A.

2020

 

Upcoming Meetings

Check back for information on future events.



Advisory Committee

Throughout the project, city planners will work with an advisory committee representing a multitude of perspectives and constituencies to develop recommended changes to the Denver Zoning Code and the Denver Revised Municipal Code. All meetings are open to the public. Meeting information will be posted here ahead of time, and materials and summaries will be shared after the fact.

Name Role/affiliation Company/Organization

Jessie Adkins

Multi-family or mixed-use architect

Shears Adkins Rockmore

Paul Books

For-profit housing developer

Palisade Partners

Caroline Carolan

Community 

Denver East Neighborhoods First

Erin Clark

Planning Board 

Planning Board Member, ULC

Jessica Dominguez

Community

West Colfax RNO

Rhys Duggan

Commercial developer

Revesco Properties

Dorit Fisher

Commercial real estate 

Shames-Makovsky

Tracy Huggins

Denver Urban Renewal Authority

Director

Robin Kniech

City Council 

At-Large

David Jaudes

For-profit housing developer

McWhinney

Shelly Marquez

Housing finance

Wells Fargo

Gete Mekonnen

Non-profit affordable housing developer

Northeast Denver Housing Center

Nola Miguel

Community 

Globeville, Elyria-Swansea Coalition Organizing for Health and Housing Justice

Susan Powers

For-profit affordable housing developer

Urban Ventures

Jennie Rogers

Housing finance

Enterprise Community Partners

Amanda Sandoval

City Council 

District 1

Ean Tafoya

Community 

Denver Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, Colorado Latino Coalition

Molly Urbina

Policy and planning

Urbina Strategies

Sherri Way

Community 

West Wash Park Neighborhood Association

Advisory Committee Meeting 1
3-6 p.m., Tuesday, February 25
Webb Municipal Building, Room 4.G.2. 
201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver 
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)
Summary (PDF)

Advisory Committee Meeting 2
3-6 p.m., Tuesday, March 24
Virtual meeting via Zoom
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)
Summary (PDF)

Advisory Committee Meeting 3A - Equity Focus
8-9:30 a.m., June 18, virtual meeting
Virtual meeting via Zoom
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)
Summary (PDF)

Advisory Committee Meeting 3B - Market Assumptions Focus
4-5:30 p.m., June 18, virtual meeting
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)
Summary (PDF)

Advisory Committee Meeting #4A
5-7 p.m., September 1, virtual meeting 
Agenda (PDF)  

Advisory Committee Meeting #4B
4-6 p.m., September 15
Agenda (PDF)

Contact Us

Analiese Hock
Principal City Planner
analiese.hock@denvergov.org