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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS 
of
Larimer County, Colorado
HomeAffordable Housing

Affordable Housing
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housing web page

The Affordable Housing Team’s goal is to educate and advocate for public and private solutions to the affordable housing problems in Larimer County.

Team members are active in monitoring the supply and need for affordable housing, presenting public education forums, and staying in touch with community leaders and the public about changing affordable housing conditions in Larimer County.



Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
AH Team Meeting:
Thursday, 9/12/2019
CARE Housing at Windtrail




 Team Activities

 Check here for up and coming presentations and events 2019-2020

April  2019 
  
SAFE HOUSING FOR SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE
The League of Women Voters of Larimer County held a public meeting April 2019 on the topic of safe housing for survivors of domestic abuse.  The League's Affordable Housing Team enlisted a panel of experts to speak about local help for victims of domestic abuse and point out what more can be done, especially in an effort to make sure these people have safe, secure housing. 

Link to video of this meeting:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a26mj3fcOWw

October 2018 League Members toured Faith Family Hospitality's new building.

November 2019  Presentation on Metro Districts at Team Meeting

         Nick Francis of Partners in Climate Action (PiCA) and Susan McFaddin from Solaris Energy presented background information about metro districts and then more detailed information about how the Fort Collins City Council is developing a policy to work with metro districts.

         A Metro District is special district that has its legal basis in Colorado's Special District Act (Title 32, Article 1, Colorado Revised Statutes). Until recently in Fort Collins, such districts were primarily used to support/facilitate commercial development. In 2018 the City’s Metro District policy was changed in response to changing residential development needs in the city.  Per the City of Fort Collins website (https://www.fcgov.com/business/metro-districts), “Metropolitan districts are quasi-governmental entities with taxing authority that are used to finance necessary public infrastructure and services that the City cannot otherwise provide.  Metro Districts issue bonds or special assessments to finance their facilities, which are secured by the taxing authority of the Metro District. A mill levy is added to the annual property tax bill and the resources from that levy are used solely for the benefit of property owners and the neighborhood. Fees may also be imposed for facilities and services. In Fort Collins, the City’s policy caps the mill levy at fifty (50) unless a higher amount is approved by City Council.”  

            Metro Districts to be approved beyond that by City Council, must be put on a ballot with the only voters able to vote on that ballot initiative the property owners within the district – essentially, the developer.            

            Fort Collins has tended to ask very little of developers proposing the use of the taxing authority of Metro Districts as a means to handle many of the costs of infrastructure and supportive facilities for new residential development.  PiCA is advocating a “Policy Recommendation for Metro District Standards” that would increase the amount of affordable housing (owned and rented) in the city and facilitate meeting the city’s climate action/sustainability goals. The City Council has labeled the lack of affordable housing an immediate priority for the City.  The Fort Collins Climate Action Plan has some of the strongest carbon reduction goals in the country.  Addressing these issues in new metro districts would be one way to meet the City’s goals.

Loveland "Reporter-Herald" article on 12-6-19 about soaring tax bills for homeowners in Metro Districts:  

<reporterherald.com/2019/12/05/metro-districts-debt-democracy-colorado-housing-development>/

 

 

December 2019 Presentation on Mobile Home Parks at Team Meeting


Advocacy


Larimer County



LWVUS Position



The Affordable Housing Team continues to monitor the supply and need for affordable housing, and educate our membership, community leaders, and the public about affordable housing conditions in Larimer County. Our long-term goal is to advocate for public and private solutions to the affordable housing problems in our area.

The need for affordable housing is a pressing one not just in Larimer County but across the state of Colorado and nationally. Accordingly, this issue has demanded study and gained formal support (and corresponding advocacy) from the League of Women Voters across the various levels of our organization. Read on for more information about the history of the League on a state and national level around this issue.


LWVUS supports policies to provide a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family. The responsibility for achieving national housing goals rests primarily with the federal government, which should assure that there is sufficient decent housing for citizens at all income levels. State and local governments should assist by establishing effective agencies to aid, promote, coordinate and supplement the housing programs of the federal government and the private sector. Government at all levels must make available sufficient funds for housing-assistance programs.

State and local governments should adopt and enforce uniform building codes with standards based on performance and housing codes to protect the health and safety of all citizens. State and local tax structures should benefit communities that build housing for lower-income families, encourage private owners to improve their homes, and reduce speculative land costs.



History of the Affordable Housing Issue

Colorado suffers from a lack of affordable, decent housing. For many years LWVCO has lobbied for housing legislation which requires that minimal necessities (water, heat, electricity) be provided in rental housing, and at the same time safeguards landlords’ rights. LWVCO has also supported efforts to establish a Housing Trust Fund.

In 1989 a voluntary contribution on state income tax returns was authorized to provide funding for the homeless.

In 2008 LWVCO supported the Colorado Housing Investment Fund, a bill that emerged from a Blue Ribbon Commission on affordable housing, but it failed.

League supported a 2014 measure, which passed, that expanded the sources of funding for grants and loans for affordable housing projects, including state tax credits.

Housing History from LWV National

 

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the League worked for a number of federal housing programs. In 1974, League support was channeled into aspects of the Housing and Community Development Act, which consolidated federal assistance under a block grant approach. The League fought against congressional action to weaken the Community Development Block Grant program through drastic cuts in the full range of authorized low- and moderate-income subsidies for both rehabilitation and new housing.

Throughout the 1980s, the League continued to support increased funding to add to and maintain the existing stock of federally assisted housing for very low-income persons. LWVUS efforts included working as a member of the National Low Income Housing Coalition to urge passage of 1987 legislation authorizing HUD’s low-income housing and community development programs, as well as endorsing the 1989 “Housing Now” march on Washington.

As a member of the Low Income Housing Coalition’s Women and Housing Task Force, the LWVUS endorsed a 1988 memorandum to the incoming Administration highlighting the housing problems facing women and making specific recommendations. In March 1990, the League endorsed a similar set of recommendations to Congress by the Women and Housing Task Force, predicated on the conviction that every person and family should have decent, safe and affordable housing. State and local Leagues have worked to increase the supply of low- and moderate-income housing through efforts to change zoning laws and to set up shared housing services.

In 2002, the LWVUS formally endorsed legislation to establish the National Housing Trust Fund, using surplus funds from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to create new housing for low-income families