Vince BzdekVince BzdekFebruary 20, 20186min570

Colorado Springs has always prided itself on lower housing prices than other Front Range cities, but that has changed fast in the last couple years. As the city's housing market has gone white-hot, affordable housing has suddenly become scarce as playoff wins for the Broncos in the last two years, fueling the city's homeless problem and creating a price crisis for lower- and even middle-income residents.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 15, 20183min795

Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne will be talking about affordable housing away from her own homestarting Friday, with town hall meetings in Denver, Boulder, Pueblo, Cañon City, Carbondale, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs.

Lynne is the state’s chief operating officer and in her spare time she’s a Democratic candidate for governor, hoping to take over when Gov. John Hickenlooper’s final term ends next January.

Her office said Lynne has traveled to all Colorado 64 counties. The high cost of a roof overhead is an issue that affects the whole state, not just the heavily populated Front Range.

“The increasing cost of housing and lack of available inventory is a burden for Colorado families across the income spectrum and in all parts of the state.” Lynne said in a statement. “Improving on the progress we’ve made as a state in the last decade requires that we take a hard look at economic issues like housing costs that pose very real challenges for Coloradans. There is a lot to be learned from communities that have considerable experience addressing this issue, and I believe that the state must do more to lend a hand.”

Between 2010 and 2016, the increase in households has outpaced the increase in new housing units by close to 60,000. As a result, housing costs — for both rent and purchase — have skyrocketed. Colorado’s median home price in November 2017 was $361,000. This was up 9.1 percent from 2016, and prices between November 2015 and 2016 rose 10 percent. On the rental side, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Colorado grew by 22.4 percent, between 2014 and 2017.
— Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne’s office

Lynne will make eight stops in four days to share her ideas and gather input to use in a white paper on the subject which she plans to release soon.

“Colorado has experienced tremendous population growth in the last 10 years, but our housing inventory has failed to keep pace, which has led to what are, for too many Coloradans, unsustainable increases in rent or home prices,” she sated.

Because space is limited, attendees are asked to RSVP at: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/keep-colorado-climbing-tour-affordable-housing

Here’s the schedule:

Friday

Denver
10:30 a.m.
Teatulia Tea Bar, 2900 Zuni St.

Boulder
2 p.m.
Boulder Creek Room,
Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave.

Saturday

Pueblo
11:15 a.m.
Pueblo City-County Library District Central Library, 100 E. Abriendo Ave.

Cañon City
1:15 p.m.
Cañon City Public Library Central Library. 516 Macon Ave.

Sunday

Carbondale
2:45 p.m.
Bonfire Coffee, 433 Main St.

Grand Junction
5:45 pm
Colorado Mesa University, Room 221, 1100 North Ave.

Monday

Glenwood Springs
10:45 a.m.
Morgridge Commons, 815 Cooper Ave, 2nd floor

Steamboat
3:45 p.m.
522 Lincoln Ave, 3rd Floor



Adam McCoyAdam McCoyFebruary 7, 20182min967

As Denver developers construct those tall buildings redefining the city’s skyline, they’ll have to add affordable housing components. It’s part of a proposal being floated by Denver City Council President Albus Brooks to help address the city’s ongoing housing crisis.

Brooks’ proposal is called a “height incentive,” Denver7 reports:

Brooks is trying to strike the right balance, and he is using 38th and Blake as his case study for the ambitious idea, telling developers at the RiNo site that if they want to build higher, they’ll have to add affordable housing.

“It’s a good compromise of what we’re trying to see in the city of Denver,” said Brooks.

Under Brooks’ proposal, areas zoned for five stories could build up to 12 or even 16 stories, but only if developers add ten percent affordable housing and at their own cost.

The height incentive is another Denver approach to city residents being squeezed out of their neighborhoods due to a healthy economy, but surging rents and home prices.

However, at least one developer told Denver7 these incremental steps won’t effectively address the affordable housing crisis in the city. Instead, “serious political commitment” is needed.

Denver has launched other programs to help ease the cost of living in Denver, including working with developers who promise to build affordable housing and launching a dedicated affordable housing fund and offering eviction and rent assistance.

A public hearing to discuss the height incentive is scheduled for Feb. 12.


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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyJanuary 30, 20182min1079

Denver has been working hard to grow its affordable housing stock, but a new report claims up to 1,200 homes connected to the city’s housing program might have been overtaxed.

That’s according to FOX31. The Denver station says it investigated Green Valley Ranch resident Cynthia Lopez’s claim in October that the city wouldn’t permit her to sell her home for market value. Instead she would have to sell it for far less because of appreciation restrictions on affordable housing:

Lopez intended to sell her home in Green Valley Ranch for $265,000 but was told by city housing officials she couldn’t legally sell it for more than a $179,000 because the city only allows its affordable housing homes to appreciate 5 percent a year.

“I was baffled,” said Lopez, who had no idea her house was part of an affordable housing covenant when she bought it in 2012 for $150,000.

Lopez told the Denver station she paid market value when she purchased her home, and is paying taxes on a home assessed at market value, but isn’t allowed to sell it for market value. Lopez’s 2017 property tax records reflected that she in fact paying taxes based upon a property value of $241,000, FOX 31 said.

Denver Assessor Keith Erffmeyer told FOX31 he is aware of the issue and a team of staffers are reviewing property taxes assessed for every affordable housing unit in Denver.

Facing surging rent and home prices, the city has launched programs to help ease cost of living in Denver, including working with developers who promise to build affordable housing and launching a dedicated affordable housing fund and offering eviction and rent assistance.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 20, 20173min415

Well, you didn’t expect the Colorado Municipal League to ask for lasers and free ponies, did you? The venerable, powerful and dutiful representative of the state’s towns and cities has more practical requests for the legislative session that begins Jan. 10.

“The main themes for the session will be maintaining local control and home rule authority, funding previous unfunded mandates from the state and trying to protect municipal taxpayer dollars from being appropriated or spent by the General Assembly through decisions that should remain local,” that’s what the CML Executive Board voted on last Friday.

More specifically, the league will have its hands on bills related to affordable housing, the opioid epidemic, natural disaster preparedness and homelessness. Marijuana, alcohol sales and energy development also are on the CML’s radar, as well as changes to the Public Employees Retirement Association.

The CML writes about its wish list on its website.

“Predictably, there will be new attempts to expand the frontier of marijuana legalization in Colorado,” the CML reports. “Early drafts of legislation that would permit (with local opt-in and approval) licensed premises for onsite, non-smoking marijuana consumption include a number of items of concern to CML. Yet, as the CML Policy Committee and CML Executive Board discussed, municipalities have wide range of views on these issues. At the core, CML’s goal is to ensure absolute local control.

“There also will be more legislation on beer and liquor this session, as the shockwaves from the 2016 shift to allow grocery stores to have multiple licenses to sell beer, wine, and sprits continue to create impacts. Additionally, a provision from the 2016 bill taking effect in 2019 now has people’s full attention. It allows conveniences stores and grocery stores with regular fermented malt beverage licenses to sell full-strength beer without any additional process. CML is working on multiple fronts on these issues.”

On PERA, the Municipal league pledged to be involved in any reforms that come down the legislative pipeline.

“With the ability to be fully funded long before the State and School Divisions, the much better funded Local Government Division can handle a little lighter touch than may be proposed for the rest of the PERA Divisions,” the CML said.


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Jessica MachettaNovember 30, 201714min1440
A solid growth plan needs to be at the top of the agenda for Colorado’s elected officials, says gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy. Kennedy, a Democrat, today unveiled her growth plan, which takes a head-on approach to addresses affordable housing concerns. “I’ve watched Colorado’s population double since I was a kid,” Kennedy tells Colorado Politics. “And […]

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