Affordable housing ideas unveiled

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Denver City Councilwoman Robin Kniech formed a committee to address possible revisions to the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.

The Mayor’s Housing Task Force has submitted a series of recommendations designed to assist with the development of a new, comprehensive housing strategy for Denver.

“I commend the task force for its comprehensive, 360-degree review of our city’s housing environment and for identifying top priorities for the city to consider,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “A smart city is one that offers a strong, diverse housing inventory and we will review these recommendations as we build a solid housing policy framework for our entire community.”

Hancock convened a task force of community experts in February to analyze the city’s housing inventory and needs, review current policies, and make recommendations to address affordable and market rate housing. Task force members included members of the public sector, private sector and nonprofits.

Moving forward, the Denver Office of Economic Development will establish a Housing Advisory Committee to review current housing policies and evaluate changes in the housing market. OED is also organizing an affordable housing finance working group to explore possible funding models to support affordable housing.

Earlier this fall, Hancock appointed Doug Smith as Denver’s new Director of Housing and Neighborhood Services.

In this capacity, Smith will help shape and strengthen a comprehensive housing strategy to attract and promote affordable housing and desirable neighborhood development in Denver. With 30 years of experience in financing, management and development of commercial real estate, Smith is well equipped to lead the OED committee work ahead.

Additionally, Denver City Councilwoman At-Large Robin Kniech recently formed a committee to address possible revisions to the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.

Task force recommendations include:

  • Create a dedicated revenue stream to support affordable housing.
  • Establish a committee to give input into the revision of the city’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.
  • Have a strong focus on creation and preservation of affordable housing. (This includes the provision of supportive services for special needs and low-income residents, with a particular focus on populations that earn up to 30 percent of the area median income.)
  • Address affordable housing as a regional issue and work with surrounding areas to achieve a more balanced approach. This means greater alignment with the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the State Department of Housing.
  • Include a high percentage of new or renovated affordable rental housing in Transit Oriented Development.
  • Adopt a formal housing plan that incorporates the core values of the Mayor’s Housing Task Force but is flexible enough to respond to changing market conditions.
  • Create an advisory committee that assists in an annual review and goal setting of the housing plan.

“I want to thank the task force members for lending their expertise and time to create such a thoughtful report,” Smith said. “I am proud that we are already moving on many of these recommendations and look forward to exploring the feasibility of the others as we develop a comprehensive housing strategy.”

Task force members included:

  • John Lucero, Denver Office of Economic Development (co-chair)
  •  Diane Barrett, Mayor’s Office (co-chair)
  •  Robin Kniech, Denver City Council Member At-Large
  •  Deborah Ortega, Denver City Council Member At-Large
  •  Dave Browning, Denver Metro Association of Realtors
  •  Ismael Guerrero, Denver Housing Authority
  •  Tracy Huggins, Denver Urban Renewal Authority
  •  Shelley Marquez, Wells Fargo
  •  Gete Mekonnen, Northeast Denver Housing
  •  Gene Myers, New Town Builders
  •  Chuck Perry, Urban Land Institute of Colorado
  •  Brian Phetteplace, Downtown Denver Partnership
  •  Melinda Pollack, Enterprise Community Partners
  •  Josh Russell, Archdiocesan Housing
  •  Christina Tubb, Regional Transportation District
  •  Cris White, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority
  •  Bill Windsor, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
  •  David Zucker, Zocalo Development

The final report is available at Denver Housing Policy Recommendations.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal LendingLand Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.

 

 

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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