Changes to Denver affordable housing law discussed

DENVER - With skyrocketing housing costs in the Denver metro area, a city councilwoman discussed proposed changes to an affordable housing ordinance that she says would give developers and low income families more options.

Robin Kniech, who is an at-large member, held a public meeting to gather input on the proposals Tuesday night at the Blair Caldwell Library.

Currently, the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance requires developers of 30 or more for-sale homes to either set aside 10% or more of the homes to be affordable for lower income families or pay cash to the city to be invested in separate affordable housing.

The proposal would add more flexibility for developers to create partnerships for constructing homes separate from the main development and would divide the city into three zones with various options for paying cash in lieu of building units.

Kniech hopes developers will use that as an opportunity to help create more affordable housing units overall.

"As Denver's economy has been booming, incomes haven't been increasing. Our housing is less and less affordable every year," said Kniech. "So this ordinance is more important now than when it was first passed, but it needed some updating."

Kniech says she expects the proposal will be formally introduced to the full city council in early August.


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