Our Region’s Opportunity: A Collaborative Approach to Ending Colorado’s Housing Crisis
It is well known throughout the country and the state that Colorado is currently experiencing a housing crisis as great as any throughout the nation. Rising housing rent and purchase costs coupled with the end of statewide eviction moratoriums have 58% of renters and 28% of owners paying over a third of their income on housing.
Housing-related challenges throughout our region present us with an opportunity to tackle this crisis in an innovative and collaborative way. There are so many incredible efforts underway already to address our housing crisis, and partners are coming together to take on these issues in a way that will have a positive impact on the entire state.
This newsletter is the first of many that will provide updates regarding the work happening through the Rocky Mountain Partnership (RMP) to increase access and availability of attainable housing throughout our region.
If you have questions, thoughts, or see any opportunities for the Partnership’s work, please feel free to contact me to share or find time to connect.
|Matt Horn, RMP Director of Collaborative Action
Matt serves as Project Manager for RMP’s Housing efforts, providing support to partners engaged in these projects to work together towards improved housing access and availability. Click HERE to learn more about the role of the RMP Backbone Team.
Current Housing Projects Underway
RMP is working towards a shared goal of increasing access and availability of attainable housing throughout the region. To that end, the Partnership is currently supporting three housing related projects, including:
- Project 1: Support regional clarity around the requirements for localities to access funding through Proposition 123
- Project 2: Create a central hub of housing data and information
- Project 3: Bring workforce, educational, housing, and basic needs services to where community members live, work, and learn (Co-Locating Services)
Click the button below to learn more about this effort and how these projects came to be.
FEATURE STORY: Building a Community-Informed Health and Housing Data Ecosystem (Project 2)
It is critical to have community members authentically engaged in efforts intended to support them. Having the necessary data, information, and resources to inform decisions about programs, policy, and resources also helps us ensure efforts are not being duplicated and are having the greatest possible impact.
In order to accomplish this, a Project Team, comprised of both community members and community partners from across the region, has come together through the Rocky Mountain Partnership to create a central hub of housing data and information.
What Is The Housing Data Hub?
This hub will build on and innovate existing sources of data, information and resources so that community members of all backgrounds can better access attainable housing and health related resources throughout the region. This hub will also provide policy makers and practitioners with the information they need to make informed decisions about housing-related programming, policies, and initiatives.
Check out the Project Team’s video about the importance of this effort below.
How Will This Data Hub Support Understanding Our Region’s Housing Crisis?
The RMP Backbone Team is finalizing data visualizations illustrating the number of affordable housing units within each locality, and these will be available soon in RMP’s Housing Data Hub.
These visualizations aim to support elected officials and practitioners from across the region to:
- Compare the different affordable housing baselines provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs earlier this year
- See the total number of new units that would be needed to be if a locality were to grow their affordable housing stock by 3% annually according to those baselines
- See the impact that increased affordable housing would have on the economic vitality of the region
- Help inform decision-making regarding utilization of the State Affordable Housing Fund (created by Proposition 123)
What Support Is The Network Receiving To Develop This Hub?
We are excited to announce that the Partnership has enlisted MG Advisory to support with the data analysis, visualization and development of this tool in order to accelerate this project.
The Project Team was also in the second phase of a federal grant application process (MADE for Health Justice) that would have provided $1 million over 3 years for this effort. However, RMP was recently notified that it would not be moving forward in the grant process. Nevertheless, RMP will continue to convene partners and community from across the region to improve this critical tool.
Click the button below to learn more about this project.
Elected Officials from Across the Region Have Gathered to Learn More About Proposition 123
As a part of RMP’s Housing Project 1, County Commissioners and City Council Members from across the region have participated in interactive conversations to:
- Learn about the work of the RMP Regional Housing Roundtable (a group of local government and housing practitioners working to foster a regional approach to increasing the availability and accessibility of attainable housing)
- Receive an overview of the data infrastructure currently in place, and take a deep dive into Proposition 123 to answer any questions regarding requirements for localities to opt in to the State Affordable Housing Fund
These sessions aim to provide a space for elected officials to network with each other, have their Proposition 123 questions answered, and scope potential opportunities for collaboration. Please note that these sessions are not intended to directly result in any decisions regarding opting into receive funds from the State Affordable Housing Fund, created by Proposition 123.
The idea to host these sessions was identified by the RMP Regional Housing Roundtable, led by Peter LiFari, CEO of Maiker Housing Partners, and Jenni Hall, Director of Community and Economic Development for Adams County Government.
If you are interested in learning more about these conversations, including how to bring an interactive conversation about the State Affordable Housing Fund directly to your council, please contact MattHorn@RMPBackbone.org.
Click the button below to learn more about this project.
Effort Underway to Ensure Adams 12 Families Have Better Access to Community Navigators (Project 3)
Service providers from Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Adams County Workforce and Business Center, Adelante Community Development, and Maiker Housing Partners gathered this month to identify an initial strategy for improving how critical workforce, educational, housing, and basic needs services reach community members where they live, work, and learn.
This Project Team will first focus on ensuring ‘community navigators’ are supporting Adams 12 families to access services and resources where they live, work, and go to school. This will not only help increase the awareness of these resources and services, but also ensure that families are connected to them.
This project team will come back together soon to update each other on the progress of this strategy and identify additional action they can take to better bring services to where people live, work, and learn. As strategies roll out over the next few months, this Project will be scaled to involve other partners.
Click the button below to learn more about this project.
|Who: RMP Regional Housing Roundtable (Local Government and Housing Staff / Practitioners)
Date: TBD – Early May
What Will Be Accomplished: Set the direction for the Roundtable for the rest of 2023, in addition to supporting a clear understanding of Proposition 123.
Related News and Resources
Below you’ll find local, state, and national news and resources related to this work.
Colorado Department of Local Affairs publishes Online Resource For Better Understanding Implementation of Proposition 123
The Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) has released an online tool designed to support clarity regarding implementation Proposition 123, including helpful articles about setting a baseline, making a commitment, etc. in addition to a place to lift questions and a poll to gauge where more information is needed.
Click the button to view this tool.
“Affordable Housing Right Of First Refusal” Passes In House, On Senate Floor
House Bill 22-1190 won a 9-4 party-line vote from the House Transportation, Housing and Local Government Committee and now heads to the full House.
Click the button to learn more about this legislation and the status of the bill.
Evictions Have Returned to- or Exceeded- Pre-Pandemic Levels
The end of many eviction moratoriums across the country has been a large contributor to the rate of eviction filings returning to or exceeding pre-pandemic levels, according to a report by Axios.
Click the button to learn more about the number of current number of evictions and those projected throughout our region on the RMP Housing Data Hub.
Colorado Democrats Unveil Housing Land Use Bill
“The bill will prevent local governments from banning the construction of accessory dwelling units, duplexes, triplexes and townhomes in bigger cities like Denver. They would no longer be allowed to restrict zoning to only single-family housing in areas but would need to allow the construction of so-called middle housing,” according to Denver 7.
Click the button below to learn more about the proposed legislation.
Check Out State Legislation Impacting This Work
Over 640 bills have been introduced since the kickoff of the state legislative session.
Click the button to view RMP’s state legislative tracker.
RMP Team Visualizing Affordable Housing Stock Baselines for Localities Across The RMP Region
In order to inform elected officials across our region to support their decision regarding opting into funding from the State Affordable Housing Fund, the RMP Team is visualizing baselines developed by the Department of Housing earlier this year.
These visualizations will be available in the next month and shared with partners and elected officials from across the region.
For more information, contact MattHorn@RMPBackbone.org.
RMP SPOTLIGHT: Maiker Housing Partners Engages Community Members In The Design Of Their Newest Affordable Housing Community
As seen in the RMP Spotlight sent out earlier this week, RMP and Maiker Housing Partners invited community members, K-12 schools, community-based organizations, elected officials and more to share design ideas for Maiker’s newest housing community, Claude Court this past November.
Participants gathered to discuss the layout of the property, amenities that should be offered on-site, and the type of programming that would support a thriving community. This design session, which included Adams County community members, is currently guiding the development and construction of Claude Court.
What Are RMP Spotlights?
RMP Spotlights serve as multi-faceted platforms to showcase essential assets, innovative practices, policy, funding opportunities, and partner initiatives that align with RMP’s Approach and have an impact on our community. These spotlights are crafted to shed light on information that is relevant to your efforts and in alignment with the work of the Partnership. Be on the lookout for additional spotlights on critical housing efforts underway.
Click the button below to see the full Partner Spotlight on Maiker Housing Partners.Click Here