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City Council Approves Hancock Administration Proposal to Require Affordable Housing Plan for the Central Platte Valley

DENVER – City Council has approved the Hancock Administration’s proposal to require affordable housing plans for large projects utilizing height incentives in the Central Platte Valley-Auraria District.

“Affordable housing remains a primary challenge for many of our residents,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “We’ve made great progress the last few years and these large projects present new opportunities to generate even more affordable homes for Denver’s families. City Council has been a phenomenal partner in this effort and I want to thank them for their vote to move this critical tool forward.”

The affordable housing plan requirement, proposed by the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) and Department of Community Planning and Development, will support implementation of the city’s Housing an Inclusive Denver five-year housing plan recommendations for more affordable housing in the area bounded by I-25, Auraria Parkway and Speer Boulevard. The move sets the stage for future initiatives to address how larger projects across the city can address Denver’s affordable housing needs.

Incentive height requirements are a newer tool being used by the city to promote more equitable communities and community benefits with a wide range of affordable housing options. This approach was piloted at 38th and Blake earlier this year. Projects seeking to exceed applicable height limitations can apply for a height incentive by agreeing to provide affordable housing in exchange for the allowance to build additional height. Large/phased projects subject to the new affordable housing plan requirements include projects seeking “incentive” height in the new Central Platte Valley-Auraria zone districts. The affordable housing plans will be negotiated between the developers and OED.

The criteria for the new required affordable housing plans will be to provide a quantity of units comparable-to/exceeding what the formula-based system would have provided; address the range of affordability levels, unit sizes and unit tenures consistent with the five-year housing plan; and provide a duration of affordability that is consistent current city policy.