Affordable Housing Measure Passes in Colorado

A voter-approved measure will set aside existing tax revenue to support affordable housing projects, homeownership initiatives, and rental assistance programs.

2 minute read

November 15, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Voters in Colorado approved a proposal to allocate existing tax revenue to supporting affordable housing, according to an article by Tatiana Flowers and Jesse Paul in the Colorado Sun.

“Proposition 123 will set aside up to 0.1% of taxable income each year for affordable housing. That’s estimated to be $145 million in the current fiscal year — which ends June 30, 2023 — and $290 million in 2023-24 and subsequent fiscal years.” Funds from the program will support affordable housing developments, homeownership assistance, and rental assistance and eviction defense programs.

The program comes as the median home price in the state rose to over $500,000, while apartment vacancy rates fell to as low as 2 percent, forcing renters to compete for few available units and move farther from their jobs and communities. As Flowers and Paul explain, “Denver’s homeless population grew 12.8% in the last two years, according to a recent local survey, and a gap between Black and white homeowners in Colorado has continued to widen since 1970.” Proponents hope this will speed up efforts to create more workforce housing for residents increasingly unable to afford housing.

The program has some caveats. “For projects to qualify for funding, local governments will have to commit to increasing affordable housing by 3% each year and will have to create a fast-track approval process for such projects.”

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