Legislation would invest $363 million to help develop more affordable housing across the state
DENVER, CO – Today, the Senate and House announced another slate of legislation aimed at saving people money on housing and addressing Colorado’s ongoing housing crisis. The bills were developed based on recommendations from the state’s Affordable Housing Transformational Task Force.
Revolving Loan Fund, sponsored by Senators Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and Rachel Zenzinger (D-Arvada) & Representatives David Ortiz (D-Littleton) and Perry Will (R-New Castle): The bill will invest $150 million to create the Transformational Affordable Housing Revolving Loan Fund Program to develop and integrate housing-related infrastructure, provide gap financing for housing development projects and preserve and rehabilitate existing affordable housing. The bill also helps finance energy improvements and weatherization efforts to save people money on their energy bills, and bolster non-traditional housing capacity in diverse geographic communities where the economic impact of COVID-19 has significantly impacted housing affordability and availability.
This includes working to preserve and build capacity for senior housing, housing specifically designed for people living with disabilities, workforce housing, and utilizing strategies like property conversion, remediating low-quality homes, and acquiring land for future affordable housing development.
“Families are feeling squeezed as housing prices continue to skyrocket across our state, leaving far too many without housing options they can afford,” said Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village). “With this bill, we’re going to make a historic investment to cut costs and make Colorado a more affordable place to live, work and raise a family. By developing more housing that is affordable to families, we can ensure that more Coloradans have a safe place to call home.”
“This bill includes one of the largest ever investments Colorado has made to bring down the cost of housing and save Coloradans money,” said Rep. David Ortiz (D-Littleton). “This $150 million investment will spur the construction of thousands of affordable housing units and sustain thousands of existing affordable homes, giving many Coloradans a quality and affordable place to call home. By leveraging private and local dollars, this bill will make our investment stretch even further, and because the loans will be repaid, the fund will continue operating and boosting our housing stock for years to come.”
“To solve Colorado’s crisis in affordable housing, we must encourage developers and the construction industry to expand our inventory,” said Sen. Rachel Zenzinger (D-Arvada). “The task force made this bill a top priority because of the regenerative nature of the funds attached. The availability of affordable housing allows us to make progress on the solution of myriad other problems in Colorado, and it’s imperative that we act now.”
Nonprofit and Local Government Grants and Land Banking, sponsored by Senators Julie Gonzales (D-Denver) and James Coleman (D-Denver) & Representatives Dylan Roberts (D-Avon) and Mary Bradfield (R-Colorado Springs): The bill will invest $178 million to provide direct, flexible, and timely grant funding to nonprofits and local governments all across the state that have or are pursuing measures to facilitate affordable housing development, including purchasing land. This includes development of supportive, rental, and for-sale housing targeted at populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The bill also makes a substantial investment for local communities to develop strategic development patterns, including funding for infrastructure projects and updating land and use codes.
The legislation will ensure flexibility of funding, including allowances for operating grants to community-based organizations and qualified local governments, particularly in small, rural, and mountain resort communities, so they can best meet their own development needs according to their community’s workforce.
“Our state is growing, and we must make sure communities have the resources they need to keep pace,” said Sen. Julie Gonzales (D-Denver), vice chair of the Affordable Housing Task Force. “This bill will help local governments and nonprofits access the space and funding that communities need to equitably accommodate that growth. By helping communities increase their housing supply we can make sure every Coloradan has access to a home they can afford.”
“This bill is a game-changer for local affordable housing efforts. It will make Colorado a significant financial partner with nonprofits and local governments that are on the frontlines of building new affordable homes and will have a significant impact on the availability of affordable housing for Coloradans,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts (D-Avon), chair of the Affordable Housing Task Force. “This legislation will direct over $150 million to the nonprofits and local governments that are building or facilitating the development of affordable housing units. These resources will increase the housing supply in communities across the state by targeting investment to the most promising projects, particularly in areas that are grappling with a housing crisis as a result of the pandemic."
“As Colorado’s population continues to grow, we have to make sure communities have the land and resources required to develop affordable housing now and in the future,” said Sen. James Coleman (D-Denver). “Local governments and nonprofits are the experts when it comes to pinpointing their communities’ unique needs. That’s why this bill is targeted at uplifting their work and providing the necessary tools to achieve their housing development goals.”
Preservation of Affordable Mobile Home Parks, sponsored by Senators Julie Gonzales (D-Denver) and Nick Hinrichsen (D-Pueblo) & Representatives Andrew Boesenecker (D-Fort Collins) and Mandy Lindsay (D-Aurora): This bill will invest $35 million into the newly created Mobile Home Park Resident Empowerment Loan and Grant Program Fund, which will provide financing to eligible mobile home homeowners so they can purchase the land under their homes and convert into a resident owned community.
Additionally, the bill establishes a mechanism for nonprofits to receive grant funding to provide technical assistance to homeowners and help them build the capacity, resources, and know-how to organize and purchase their mobile home park. This bill will provide a critical financial tool for mobile homeowners across the state at risk of displacement or exorbitant lot rent increases that often occur when a park is sold from one for-profit owner to another.
“By keeping mobile homes affordable, we are going to save Coloradans money on their housing costs and preserve one of the largest stocks of unsubsidized affordable housing in our state,” said Rep. Andrew Boesenecker (D-Fort Collins). “This bill is going to help mobile home residents access the capital they need to purchase the land under their homes and stop predatory multi-state investors.”
“Every Coloradan deserves a safe, comfortable place to call home, which is why we are working to ensure that mobile homes stay affordable across our state,” Sen. Nick Hinrichsen (D-Pueblo) said. “This legislation will provide critical protections for mobile home owners by putting an end to extreme rent hikes, and help mobile home residents get the tools and help they need to buy the land their homes sit on.”
“Colorado’s mobile home residents are feeling the pressure from increased prices, and they need every tool we can provide to drive down their costs and keep their homes affordable,” said Rep. Mandy Lindsay (D-Aurora). “This bill will help mobile home residents save money by making it easier for them to purchase their communities, instead of letting profit-motivated out-of-state hedge funds price gouge them and strip them of the investments they’ve made in their homes.”