Will the state’s new inclusionary zoning law fix Denver’s housing problems? – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-06-11 14:36:26 –

When Serena Gonzales Gutierrez councilor ran for seat in 2018, she and her future legislative colleagues heard the same concerns many times when they knocked on the Denver door.

“One of the main issues was affordable housing,” said Gonzales-Gutierrez, who grew up in North Denver, the area she currently represents at the General Assembly.

Now, she and her colleagues hope that new legislation passed during the recent session could hurt the housing crisis in Denver and throughout the state.The law allows cities to do Need a certain number of affordable homes Housing development unit. However, cities also need to offer alternatives, such as paying developers on their behalf. And the law does not define “affordability”.

Gonzales-Gutierrez is a gentrification in his district, including chunks on Corfax Avenue, where the new law is the border between wealthy inhabitants living north of the street and more working class people living south of it. I believe we can deal with the situation.

“It is hoped that this will allow us to achieve more mixed income and more affordability, and prevent this type of racism caused by gentrification,” Gonzales said.・ Mr. Gutierrez said.

Denver City Councilman Robin Nichi played a role Bill technical advisorGives state legislators a sense of how it works in the field.

“Denver is ready to take advantage of this, so it’s also important when discussing legislative amendments, which helped ensure that those amendments are actually available to local governments. “Kniech said.

While the law aims to make more affordable homes, Kniech, who proposed and passed a home-related bill in the Denver City Council, comprehensive zoning usually builds very low-income homes. Although it may not necessarily target the city’s poorest residents, the law said it would allow city council members to focus other resources on the city’s lowest-income residents.

“Therefore, one of the really important things for the community to understand is that this tool is for middle-income housing and for a modest supply,” says Kniech.

Denver had its own comprehensive zoning method.

The law required developers to build a certain percentage of affordable housing units with new developments, but could also have them opt out by paying a fee-basically state law To allow the city.

However, Denver’s old law only applied to units that were sold, not for rent. Exchanged in 2016 At a new construction rate towards affordable housing funding. Debra Bustos, Deputy Director of Housing Opportunities, said the fund receives about $ 30 million annually and the city will use it to pay for some of its housing projects (the city will use affordable housing). You will also receive federal funding to build it).

Since 2011, 8,380 income-restricting units have been built or preserved in Denver, according to Derek Woodbury, a spokesman for the City’s Department of Housing Stability.

New state law allows cities to require developers to build rental housing at affordable prices. And Property for sale.

Kniech said before the bill was passed City council committee started looking It will take effect on September 1st as to how Denver can use the law. Kniech said the Commission devised how the law would apply in Denver and that the entire city council had final say.

While the details were hashed, Kniech said he wanted to demand affordable housing for buildings of 10 units or more.

1775 Federal Boulevard Under construction, June 25, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty / Denverite)

Developers can pay instead of incorporating affordable homes, but “the truth is that the option can be more or less attractive based on how we adjust it.” That’s it, “Kniech said.

“Short stories can start with the expectation that you should build a (affordable home) on-site. If you don’t want that, here’s an option,” she continued. “But you have some control over how you design these options.”

Cities also need to define “affordable prices” that are traditionally measured using the median income of the region. A unit with an AMI of 80%, which is a common threshold for affordable housing projects, means that one person cannot earn more than $ 54,950 a year to qualify to live there. According to Kniech, the new data suggests extending certain requirements, such as using lower AMIs and keeping units affordable for decades.

Tony Hernandez, a social work professor at Denver Metropolitan State University, said the lack of affordable housing could have a significant impact on cities like Denver. He said the new state law would improve some of those issues.

“The lack of affordable housing is a major barrier to work, and if you have to drive long distances to get to work or home, it can actually be more polluting, so it’s the main source of air pollution. That’s the cause, “says Hernandez. “The cross-sectionality of this policy is important and can benefit the entire state.”

He said the law would probably be unpopular among developers focusing on building money-making homes. Moreover, they may see it as a more bureaucratic formalism.

Serena Gonzales Congressman-Gutierrez will speak at the Latin American / Advocacy Day rally in Denver on Monday, March 11, 2019. (Esteban L. Hernandez / Denverite)

The· Metro Denver Apartment Association, Colorado Homebuilders Association, Colorado Landlord Legislative Union, NAIOP Colorado (focusing on commercial real estate development), Rocky Mountain Housing Association all opposed the bill as it passed the State Capitol .. In testimony and statements, representatives of these organizations suggested that it would not really help to build more affordable homes. They also expressed concern about the restrictions created by law, and some even compared it to rent management.

The Denver Metro Real Estate Association also opposed the bill. In a statement to Denverite, DMAR’s director of government, Peter Wall, said the city needed to work “in collaboration with developers to build these affordable units.”

“DMAR is deeply interested in providing affordable homes for everyone,” Wall said in a statement. “That said, we hope Denver and other cities will take a thoughtful, data-driven approach to future affordable housing initiatives.”

The main sponsors of the law were all Democrats on behalf of Denver. Gonzales-Gutierrez has joined Susan Rontin, Julie Gonzalez, and Robert Rodriguez.

But the entire state is tackling the housing crisis. Lawmakers spoke from places like Summit County. There Gonzales Gutierrez said the teacher was sleeping in the car because he couldn’t afford to live there. Affordable for teachers Adjacent Eagle County,Also.

“This isn’t just Denver’s problem,” said Gonzales Gutierrez.

Will the state’s new inclusionary zoning law fix Denver’s housing problems? Source link Will the state’s new inclusionary zoning law fix Denver’s housing problems?

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