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BD828335947F009887258736005B755C Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For COLORADO'S AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAMS

INTERIM COMMITTEE  AFFORDABLE HOUSING TRANSFORMATIONAL TASK FORCE
Date Aug 19, 2021      
Location Old State Library



Colorado's Affordable Housing Programs - Committee Discussion Only


10:39:00 AM  
Rick Garcia, Executive
Director, representing the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), provided
a brief introduction to DOLA and provided a PowerPoint Presentation and
department materials (Attachment B).  DOLA will provide a list of
documents related to housing to the committee.  Alison George, Director
representing the Division of Housing in DOLA, provided an overview of the
division.
10:41:09 AM  

Ms. George talked about the work of the division, including the division's five offices, which are:  Homeless Initiatives, Rental Assistance, Housing Recovery, Housing Finance and Housing Stability, and Regulatory Oversight.

10:44:05 AM  

The representatives from DOLA provided infomation on housing costs.  

10:46:07 AM  

There was discussion about 2021 legislation addressing housing, the Strategic Housing Working Group report about housing in Colorado, and DOLA's plan on ending homelessness.  Discussion about homelessness ensued.  DOLA discussed leveraging funds to increase access to home down payment funds, investments in workforce housing, regulatory burdens, and infrastructure investment.

10:52:19 AM  
The representatives
from DOLA discussed the annual survey of individuals without homes,usually
completed in January.  There was a discussion about universal choice
housing vouchers or Section 8 housing.  DOLA representatives talked
about flexible vouchers.  The discussion addressed how as incomes
increase subsidies go down, and how long-term vouchers may allow recipients
to continue their path to stability.  There was discussion about how
an increase in voucher dollars may be necessary, but the federal government
may not be able to provide that funding.

10:56:33 AM  
Ms. George talked
about housing data, including production, cost of a first home, and availability
of resources. Ms. George will work on identifying metrics with her staff
and provide information to the task force.  Pressure on rentals was
discussed.




There was a discussion about homelessness and COVID-19.  Kristin Toombs,
representing the Office of Homeless Initiatives in DOLA, discussed that
the number of unhoused individuals have increased, especially those living
in shelters.  She indicated that one-third of those in shelters in
Denver come from other Colorado communities. Ms. Toombs suggested that
affordable housing with supports may work better for unhoused individuals.
 There was a discussion about the number of unhoused individuals increasing
due to the popularity of Colorado and the shortage of housing stock.

11:03:04 AM  

There was discussion about the effects of compression on middle and lower income households, as well as seniors.  Discussion continued about how seniors stay in their homes because they cannot afford to move, which may affect the amount of housing availabe for others.  

11:06:06 AM  

The task force discussed the senior homestead exemption, a report that identifies causes of homelesness, how rent costs may affect homelessness, and increasing affordability in workforce housing.  The task force continued to discuss housing with supports for homeless individuals.

11:09:37 AM  

There was a discussion about the driving forces behind a drop in production, including a decrease in contractor businesses, development of different housing, and housing location.  Discussion ensued about the regional differences in housing, efficiencies in construction and manufactured housing, and workforce development programs.

11:13:34 AM  
DOLA will gather
information for the task force about the types of housing needed.

 
Total
funding received through the Federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that
the task force will make spending recommendations about, $399.8 million,
was discussed.  Discussion continued about providing affordable housing
without driving down the median price of homes, as well as local governments
continuing to access increased property taxes.  

11:19:48 AM  

Jamie Gomez, Deputy Executive for Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), discussed CHFA's focus on homeownership, rental housing, business lending, and community partnerships.  A copy of CHFA's presentation was provided to the task force (Attachment C).  Mr. Gomez discussed the vision of CHFA, which includes housing stability and economic prosperity for all Coloradans.  He discussed the housing continuum and middle income households and those households that are just outside qualifying for assistance.  Mr. Gomez identified investment in critical areas, including housing for households with an area median income (AMI) of 80 percent and below and an AMI of 80 to120 percent.

11:25:48 AM  

Mr. Gomez said that CHFA staff could gather data related to housing for the task force, including the number of units that exist in each category of the housing continuum, the regional distributuion of units, the needed housing investment in each category, and data about tax credits.

11:28:37 AM  

Mr. Gomez discussed how CHFA assists households with homeownership by providing down payment assistance and stated that $108 million in down payment assistance was provided for 10,483 households in 2020.  Mr. Gomez talked about how low inventory is contributing to the higher cost of housing and how CHFA is working to create a single family financing mechanism for developers in rural areas.  There was a discussion about a homeownership gap.  Information shared with the task force outline that 70 percent of white households own a home, whereas 40 percent of black households own a home.

11:30:28 AM  

Mr. Gomez discussed that CHFA is the direct lender to developers for rental housing, as well as constructing and rehabilitating affordable housing units and highlighted that there are not enough resources or tax credits.  Mr. Gomez talked about a focus on the development of middle income units, and that CHFA's middle income access program leveraged $182 million, using $14.9 million in funding, to create five middle income developments, or 622 units, in mountain areas.  Mr. Gomez talked about the need for smaller developments in rural communites, including capital for building.

11:32:36 AM  
There was a discussion
about obstacles to housing affordability and stability, including access
to water and infrastructure.
11:33:03 AM  
There was a discussion
about CHFA's financing guidelines which are tied to the the federal Housing
and Urban Development (HUD) standards.

11:35:47 AM  

There was a discussion about construction defects.  Mr. Gomez indicated that CHFA is not seeing townhome and condominium builds.  However, it is unclear if this is related to construction defects.  CHFA will provide data to the task force about equity and lending for Native Americans and sovereign nations.






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