State Rep. Dylan Roberts late Friday introduced his final bill of the current session that ends on Friday, May 3 – legislation aimed at expanding the supply of desperately needed affordable housing across Colorado.
The final bill from the Avon Democrat is known as the Expand
Supply Affordable Housing Act (HB 1322) and would use money
from the state’s Unclaimed Property Trust Fund to offer grants and loans for
home ownership and rental assistance programs in hard-hit areas.
to Increase Funding for Affordable Housing
bill appropriates the amount equal to
the lesser of $40 million dollars or 50% of the funds remainingof the unused funds in Colorado’s Unclaimed
Property Trust Fund forseven years. The bill ensures all claims will always be paid, protects existing uses of the fund,
and assures there would always be an excess
reserve cushion in the event of unexpected claims or a decline in deposits.
from the fund would be suspended when TABOR revenues exceed the revenue limit
by more than the amount of the Senior and Disabled Veterans Homestead Property
reflects discussions of a broad group of
stakeholders from urban and rural areas convened by Democrats and
Republicans in the House and Senate that identified the needs in their
funds would support grants and loans for the following purposes:
Homeownership in rural
areas for income up to 120% of the area median income
Home modification and rehabilitation
Mobile home repair and
infrastructure costs to support affordable rental and/or ownership housing
Funding for the
development, acquisition, and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing
programs that benefit the following populations:
Homeless families with
children in school
Medicaid clients in
nursing homes who can live in their communities with in-home services
Family unification and
related programs that reduce intergenerational poverty
Homeless or disabled veterans
Households with annual
income at or below 60% of the area median income
Survivors of domestic
or renting a home is out of reach for many
2011 housing costs have risen by more than 40% while wages have risen by just
HUD calculated Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Front Range metropolitan
areas is just under $1,500/month. A household must earn over $60,000 annually or almost $30/hourto afford this rent. The estimated average wage for a
renter is $17.59/hour.
the metropolitan area, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $976/month.
To make this affordable, a household must
earn an hourly wage of $18.77/hour (or $40,000 annually). The
estimated average wage for a renter in non-metro areas of the state is about
$13/hour—well below the hourly wage needed to afford the rent on a two-bedroom
market is not building homes that are affordable to many Coloradans
of the most recent HUD data, 275,000
Colorado households werespending
more than half their income on their mortgage or rent. This includes over 162,000 renters.
6000 households on the Eastern Plains,
9000 households in the Central Mountains and 32,000 on the Western Slope
are weighed down by the cost of housing.
Percent of Colorado renters and home
owners spending 50% or more of income on housing by region
than 30% AMI
to 50% AMI
to 80% AMI
to 100% AMI
Source: HUD CHAS data based on 2010-2014 American
Economy Requires a Healthy Housing Market
communities have a range of housing options for people across the income
These communities are more appealing to businesses looking to relocate and to
families looking to put down roots. Home construction provides an economic
boost for communities.
More affordable housing
options in rural Colorado would help attract teachers and health care
supports the larger economy. If housing were more affordable for the thousands of
Coloradans paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing, there would be
a $2 billion boost in spending on food, clothing, health care, recreation and
other household expenditures. This spending could support local businesses and
contribute $89 million in additional sales tax for important public services.
Housing that is Affordable Provides a
Platform for Long-Term Stability
instability, and homelessness – – Families that can afford their
housing costs are more stable, their children do better in school, and they can
save for emergencies, education and retirement.
and the impact of poverty on children – – Reducing the rent burden in
low-income families frees up more resources for children and results in better
care and other public services costs – – The provision of affordable housing
decreases Medicaid expenditures and use of emergency services and increases use
of primary care to improve health. The health impacts of stabilizing housing
also improve mental health.