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HB21-1271

Department Of Local Affairs Innovative Affordable Housing Strategies

Concerning the establishment of programs offering state assistance to local governments to promote the development of innovative affordable housing strategies in a manner that is compatible with best local land use practices, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Session:
2021 Regular Session
Subject:
Local Government
Bill Summary



The act creates 3 different programs in the department of local affairs (DOLA) for the purpose of offering grant money and other forms of state assistance to local governments to promote innovative solutions to the development of affordable housing across the state.
Local government affordable housing development incentives grant program (housing development incentives grant program). This program will provide grants to local governments that adopt not less than 3 policy and regulatory tools from among a menu of options that create incentives to promote the development of affordable housing. A local government that adopts such tools is eligible for a grant from the housing development incentives grant program as an incentive to develop one or more affordable housing developments in their community that are liveable, vibrant, and driven by community benefits. The division of local government (DLG) within DOLA administers the housing development incentives grant program.
The act enumerates items included in the menu of policy and regulatory tools.
Local government planning grant program. This program will provide grants to local governments that lack one or more of the policy and regulatory tools that provide incentives to promote the development of affordable housing that forms the basis for a grant under the housing development incentives grant program and that could benefit from additional funding to be able to create and make use of these policy and regulatory tools. Money under the planning grant program will be available to a local government to enable the government to retain a consultant or a related professional service to assess the housing needs of its community or to make changes to its policies, programs, development review processes, land use codes, and related rules to become an eligible recipient of a grant under the housing development incentives grant program. The planning grant program will be administered by the DLG. As part of its administration of the planning grant program, the DLG will provide assistance to local governments on best land use practices and tools and is required to update and publish model county and municipal land use codes for the benefit of local governments across the state.The affordable housing guided toolkit and local officials guide program (housing toolkit program). This program creates the housing toolkit program within the division of housing (DOH) within DOLA. The purpose of the housing toolkit program is to award funding to qualified counties, and municipalities, and federally recognized tribes within the state selected in a competitive process who commit to the adoption of best land use practices with demonstrated success in the development of affordable housing. Under the housing toolkit program, technical assistance will be provided by consultants and related professionals to local governments who demonstrate an understanding of the housing needs of their communities, take steps to engage their entire communities in this process, make changes to their land use codes and related processes that provide incentives and reduce barriers to the development of affordable housing, obtain and support viable sites in their communities for the development of affordable housing, and attract developers committed to making such investments in their communities. The DOH is to administer the housing toolkit program.
In evaluating applications for grants from the housing development incentives grant program, the act requires the DLG to prioritize proposals submitted by local governments based on factors specified in the act.

On or before September 1, 2021, the act requires the executive director of DOLA or the executive director's designee to adopt policies, procedures, and guidelines for the 3 different state assistance programs that include, without limitation:

  • Procedures and timelines by which an eligible recipient may apply for a grant;
  • Criteria for determining the amount of grant awards;
  • Performance criteria for grant recipients' projects; and
  • Reporting requirements for grant recipients.


On the effective date of the act, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the state treasurer is required to transfer $30,000,000 from the affordable housing and home ownership cash fund to the Colorado heritage communities fund and $9,300,000 from the general fund to the Colorado heritage communities fund. DLG must use this money transferred for the creation, implementation, and administration of the housing development incentives grant programs.

On the effective date of the act, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the state treasurer is required to transfer $5,000,000 from the affordable housing and home ownership cash fund to the Colorado heritage communities fund and $2,100,000 from the general fund to the Colorado heritage communities fund. DLG must use this money transferred for the creation, implementation, and administration of the planning grant program.

On the effective date of the act, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the state treasurer is required to transfer $1,600,000 from the general fund to the housing development grant fund for the creation, implementation, and administration by the DOH of the housing toolkit program.

All costs incurred in administering any of the 3 programs created under the act must be paid out of the money transferred under the act. All money transferred under the act for the 3 state programs must be expended over the subsequent 3 state fiscal years.

On or before November 1 of each year, the executive director of DOLA or the director's designee is required to publish a report summarizing the use of all assistance that was awarded from the 3 different programs created under the act in the preceding fiscal year. The act specifies additional required contents of the reports. The reports must be shared with the general assembly and posted on DOLA's website.

The act updates and repeals obsolete statutory provisions concerning the office of smart growth (OSG) within DOLA and the Colorado heritage communities fund.

The act authorizes the OSG, as money becomes available, to provide grants or other forms of assistance to counties and municipalities to address critical planning issues and specifies examples of the forms of assistance that may be provided by the office. The OSG is required to create guidelines to specify the activities on the part of local governments that will qualify for grant funding or other forms of assistance provided under the act. The OSG is permitted to use available money to administer the Colorado heritage grant program.

The act appropriates $39,300,000 to DOLA from the Colorado heritage communities fund for the affordable housing development incentives grant program.

The act appropriates $7,100,000 to DOLA from the Colorado heritage communities fund for the local government planning grant program.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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