Affordable HousingHot Sheet

Denver reportedly overtaxed more than 1,000 affordable housing properties

Author: Adam McCoy - January 30, 2018 - Updated: February 7, 2018

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A drone’s-eye view of Denver’s Green Valley Ranch. (JayWizzle FoShizzle via YouTube)

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.

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy covers Denver-area politics for Colorado Politics.