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Audit finds serious errors in city's affordable housing program

The Denver auditor found that the city's Office of Economic Development made some serious errors in the affordable housing program.

The Denver auditor has found that the office that runs the city’s affordable housing program has made serious errors that could have led to hundreds of income-limited homes being sold to families that didn’t qualify for them.

The audit found that Denver’s Office of Economic Development both underpriced and overpriced homes and did not properly determine income eligibility for the program, which is housing for which occupants pay no more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing costs.

This comes after a 9NEWS report in March that detailed how some residents unknowingly bought affordable homes and were told they needed to sell them at a loss.

The Denver City Council eventually came up with an ordinance allowing homeowners to stay, but only if they agreed to sell the home to a low-income family when they sold or to impose the program’s cap on the sales price.

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As of September, 201 homes were still not in compliance.

According to the audit, the Denver Office of Economic Development also failed to accurately determine income eligibility for affordable housing, incorrectly filled out documents and was not collecting fees from developers meant to fund affordable housing.

In a statement, the office said it has been working on ways to improve the shortage even in wake of a staffing shortage. Of the audit’s recommendations, the Denver Office of Economic Development said it has implemented two of them and is working on improving in other areas as well.


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