Economic Impacts of Affordable Housing in Colorado Impressive
The Sierra Club – Rocky Mountain Chapter, together with 21
other groups, paid for a study of the
economic impacts of a statewide affordable housing. Economic & Planning Systems, issued its draft report (full
release in Sept. 2002) showing the community/social and economic impacts that a
$26.5 million housing trust fund might have.
In Colorado, affordable housing needs remain a crisis. Statewide, the Division of Housing
identifies a need for 107,170 housing units (2,000 emergency shelter, 47,600
deep subsidy rentals, 18,880 worker rentals, and 38,690 subsidized
homeownership units) half of which could be met by an affordable housing trust
The non-renewal of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and
Gov. Owens veto of the Division of Housing’s $2.9 million line item for
affordable housing has left Colorado without significant funding to meet
affordable housing needs.
Community and Social Benefits
Economic & Planning Systems identified significant
benefits from the affordable housing trust fund:
Health – helping families to move into better quality
housing, elimination of lead-based paint hazards, and savings in public health
Family stability – 3,800 low income households will have
access to decent affordable housing, leading to a better chance at school
success for children
Growth and Transportation – providing affordable
housing opportunities near employment centers will limit sprawl and traffic
congestion. Shorter commute times will
build community participation in civic and school activities.
Welfare to Work – Colorado families can expect
increased access to work and employment success.
Economic Development – a diversity of housing types
near employment centers enhances Colorado’s competitive position in attracting
and retaining business.
In addition to these positive environmental benefits, the
study outlines the large financial impact of an affordable housing trust fund
The annual economic benefits will be:
– more than 2,800 new jobs will be directly and indirectly supported
Nearly $295 million of new economic activity from construction and real-estate
– this industry will have $159 million in spending and 1,145 jobs.
– an additional $1.2 million and 4 new jobs.
Revenues – increased business and household spending (by reducing the
rent/housing burden) will generate sales tax revenue of $4.3 million, new
property tax revenue of $2.8 million and $1.8 million in state income tax
Patterns – formerly rent/housing burdened households will have an average of
$2,460 annual income to spend on other goods, including health care, food, and
A smaller study by EPS examined possible funding sources for
a statewide housing trust fund. The two
best sources for revenue were found to be a real estate transfer fee, or a
documentary recording fee.
The Sierra Club looks forward to working in coalition with
other groups to promote an affordable housing trust fund this coming political
Kathy Glatz, Environmental Justice Chair
Bill Myers, Sierra Club affordable housing issue liaison
Challenge to Sprawl Campaign committee.
For more information on affordable housing, visit the Sierra