AIA Denver Housing Committee and the Housing Investment Fund Initiative

by evstudio on July 1, 2008

The AIA Denver Housing Committee is a forum for architects who specialize in designing residential building types, such as single-family, multi-family and lofts. The committee follows current issues that address codes, government regulations, evolving technology and current housing trends, including green building in housing. The committee’s goals are to have a better understanding of the Fair Housing Act and its relationship to Title IX of Colorado law, to offer solutions to growth issues and to educate developers and the general public about good residential design.

I represented EVstudio at the first Denver Housing Committee Meeting for 2008 on June 19th. We discussed ways the committee can become more actively involved in promoting green building, as well as affordable housing which became the main focus of the meeting. Housing Colorado was invited to the meeting to give us an update on the Housing Investment Fund Initiative that they are trying to get on the November ballot.

This petition drive was cancelled on July 2, 2008

Housing Works for Colorado is the citizen’s initiative to create a permanent funding source of affordable housing. Colorado currently receives minimal funding from the federal government to help address these housing needs. I was shocked to learn that Colorado’s annual budget for affordable housing is approximately $1.2 million, which hardly seems enough to satisfy a small city, let alone an entire state. This November, Colorado voters will have the opportunity to approve a tax on real estate transactions equal to $0.04 on every $100 of property value, or $40 on a property valued at $100,000. This will still be the lowest tax of its kind in the nation, and will benefit working Colorado families struggling to afford a place to live.

The fund will provide approximately $30 million each year to assist local communities increase the availability of affordable housing. It will be distributed 60% directly to local communities, and 40% through a statewide grant process administered by the Division of Housing. The fund will support statewide affordable housing through assistance with down payments and closing costs to promote home ownership, purchases of land and real property for affordable housing, development of affordable rentals and work force housing, modifications to reduce energy consumption, as well as accessibility modifications for persons with disabilities. Colorado estimates that the Housing Investment Fund will provide multiple economic benefits including: 3,200 new jobs, $334 million in additional economic activity statewide, and a $290 million annual increase in revenues to the construction and real estate industries.

Housing Colorado needs to gather 130,000 signatures to get this initiative on the ballot this November, and so far they have around 20,000. This is where the Denver Housing Committee will be stepping in to help. Some of us will be volunteering to carry petitions to help gather signatures, and spreading the word for the housing investment fund citizen’s initiative. More information can be found at:

This petition drive was cancelled on July 2, 2008


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