Below is a link to a list of the most recent affordable housing projects that have received public funding from the Denver Office of Economic Development.
In exchange for public financing, the owners of these properties have agreed to limit the rent they charge for some or all units for a certain period of time. This agreement, called a covenant, stays with a property—meaning that if the property is sold to a new owner, the affordability must remain for as long as the covenant is in effect. The city’s negotiated covenants generally range from 15 to 30 or 40 years, depending on the project.
Each restricted unit has a designated maximum income level, which is set as a percentage of median income, so the rent charged for that unit must be affordable to a household earning that income. The property manager or leasing agent must, by covenant, only rent the affordable units to households that earn less than the maximum income. Some units have further restrictions on who can live there--such as veterans, older adults, or people with disabilities. To qualify as a tenant, you will need to demonstrate your income level as well as other qualifying facts (such as your age or veteran status).
Since the affordability of a building is monitored at least annually to ensure that the covenant requirements are being met, you may need to demonstrate your eligibility each year (or leasing period) as well.
Please note that this list of rental properties is not the Sec. 8 housing voucher program managed by the Denver Housing Authority. However, some properties on this list may accept housing vouchers. To apply for a voucher through the annual lottery process, you must apply through the Denver Housing Authority directly.
Unfortunately, the current demand for affordable rental units in Denver far exceeds what is available. The city is increasing its annual investment in building new units as well as renovating/rehabbing older units, and strives to preserve the affordability of all projects for as long as possible. That said, you may find that the affordable rental units in the area(s) where you hope to live are already entirely occupied by other qualified tenants.
In spite of this challenge, many projects will accept waitlist applications. You may have to provide updated income information and bank statements to ensure that your application is current and that you still qualify for an affordable unit. Some properties have so many approved applicants waiting that they no longer add applicants to a wait list. Over time, the wait list may be open again.
Because of the covenant guidelines regarding your eligibility to rent an affordable unit, you must remain income-eligible each year to renew your lease. You may not add an income-earning household member without notifying the property manager or leasing agent, whether they are helping you pay the rent or not.
In order to ensure that covenant requirements are being met, the property manager or leasing agent will likely ask you and other members of your household to provide the following kinds of documents when you apply to rent an affordable unit:
A driver’s license or other form of identification
The most recent two months of paystubs
(or proof of retirement or benefit income)
The most recent two months of bank statements
Your previous year’s federal tax return
An application with your signature
The main factor for eligibility is your gross annual income. In our property list, you will see details about maximum income levels expressed as a percentage of what is called Area Median Income (AMI) for Denver.
Review this chart to determine where you fall in the AMI range so that you will know what properties on our list you can qualify for. For example, 30% AMI for an individual is $19,500 and 80% AMI is $52,000. Maximum income limits are adjusted for the number of people in a household.
Unfortunately, federal housing laws do not guarantee the availability of affordable units, even to otherwise fully qualified applicants. However, if an affordable unit is available, you meet the covenant and property requirements, and you believe you are being treated unfairly in your attempt to become a tenant, you have the right to file a complaint to the government and have your complaint reviewed.
If you believe that your access to an affordable unit is being unfairly hindered by the builder, property manager, or leasing agent, you can seek help from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Discrimination Hotline at 1-800-669-9777. Learn more at www.hud.gov/fairhousing.
If your income and credit score is high enough for you to qualify for a mortgage, the city has several exciting programs to help bring your dream of home ownership within reach. Learn more about the Affordable Housing Ownership Program, the metroDPA (Down Payment Assistance) program, and the Mortgage Credit Certificate program here.
Not sure if you’re ready for a mortgage or what it would take to get there? There are a number of nonprofit homebuyer counseling agencies who can help answer your questions at no cost. Click here for details.
ColoradoHousingSearch.com provides a listing of available affordable rental opportunities throughout the entire state.
Colorado Affordable Legal Services
Brothers Redevelopment - Housing Connects
Colorado Gerontological Society
(specialize more on housing referral based services for seniors)
Enter your City, State or ZIP to instantly locate assisted living, independent living and retirement communities, or nursing care and rehabilitation.
Another excellent tool for area residents feeling the pressure of rising rents and seeking information on affordable housing opportunities is the Colorado Housing Financial Assistance Guide.