Innovative Affordable Housing Strategies

HB21-1271 creates three new programs 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.

DOLA’s Division of Local Government (DLG), Community Development Office (CDO) will administer two of the new programs, the Affordable Housing Development Incentives Grant Program and the Planning Grant Program. DOLA’s Division of Housing (DOH) will administer the Affordable Housing Guided Toolkit and Local Officials Guide Program (Affordable Housing Toolkit Program). DLG and DOH will collaborate in the creation and ongoing management of the programs. Due to the nature of stimulus funding, all three programs must spend funds by June 30, 2024. Municipalities, counties, and city/counties are eligible for all three programs. Federally recognized tribes are eligible for the Affordable Housing Toolkit Program. For more information on the Affordable Housing Toolkit Program, please visit DOH’s website. 

DOLA staff is working with stakeholders to create detailed program guidelines and timelines for all three new programs. Per HB21-1271, program guidelines will be posted by September 1, 2021. Planning grants will be made available as soon as possible (summer 2021).  

Affordable Housing Development Incentives Grant Program

The Affordable Housing Development Incentives Grant Program provides grants to local governments to develop one or more affordable housing developments in their community that are liveable, vibrant, and driven by community benefits. 

These incentive grants can help cover tap fees, infrastructure, parks/playgrounds and other needs and amenities that support the affordable housing project. Local governments are encouraged to pick one or two shovel-ready projects that can spend all of the funds by June 2024, and provide gap funding. Projects must provide community benefits (e.g., covering tap fees or infrastructure costs for an affordable housing project and/with a child care center, for example). A small portion can be used for needs and amenities in the neighborhood where the affordable housing development is located. To qualify, local governments must adopt at least three strategies from the menu of policy and regulatory options listed in the bill.

Planning Grant Program

The Planning Grant Program provides grants to local governments to help them understand their housing needs and adopt policy and regulatory strategies to qualify for the Affordable Housing Development Incentives Grant Program. Of note, the Planning Grant Program can fund housing needs assessments to help local governments guide their policy and regulatory approach to reducing barriers to affordable housing development, but the application for funding must also include work to adopt a qualifying strategy (from the options listed in the bill). 

Model Land Use Code (MLUC) Update 

As part of the Planning Grant Program, the Community Development Office will update and publish model land use codes for municipalities and counties. For more information on the MLUC update process, see the Community Development Office’s Land Use Codes webpage.

Program Contacts

Please contact the Community Development Office (CDO) with questions.