The Colorado Health Foundation

Colorado Health Foundation
Preserving Affordable Homes in Rural Colorado

Far too many low-income people in Denver and across Colorado struggle to find an affordable place to call home, with nearly one in three renters statewide spending more than 50% of their income on a place to live.

Colorado’s rural residents are particularly vulnerable. Much of their affordable rental housing stock needs significant rehabilitation and needs recapitalization. The stock is nearing the end of its affordability period, which could result in loss of rental assistance or affordable rental rates. Tenants living in these homes, some of whom average about $10,000 in income annually, will be hardest hit – having no place to go and no means to pay market-rate rents.

The Colorado Health Foundation recognizes that the quality, affordability, stability and location of a person’s home are critical factors in the health of communities and residents. Thanks to the Foundation's generous support, Enterprise is taking a dual approach to address the challenges facing Denver and the state.

To mitigate the loss of rural affordable stock, Enterprise has created the Colorado Rural Rental Housing Preservation Academy. The Academy offers a series of no-cost training and peer learning sessions for rural housing providers on topics;—such as USDA’s 515 program, financial resources, preservation case studies, property management and green building practices — designed to help them acquire or preserve USDA and other subsidized housing in their respective Colorado communities.

To help residents at risk of displacement and address the housing shortage, we are advocating both locally in Denver and at the state level for polices that protect renters and increase economic security for families. Additionally, our policy efforts aim to ensure that public resources are directed toward producing and preserving affordable housing in an equitable manner throughout the state.

The long-term goal is to support access to affordable, safe and high-quality housing options, so low-income Coloradans can have stable and healthier lives.

Additionally, we are proud that Colorado Health Foundation has made a significant contribution to our Emergency Action for Partner and Resident Stability program. The Covid-19 response effort offers community partner organizations a broad range of support, including emergency grants and long-term technical assistance, to help vulnerable, low-income families and individuals can remain their homes and access support during the pandemic.

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