Colorado Department of Local Affairs Awards More Than $18M In First Round of the Affordable Housing Development Incentives Grant Program

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Media Contact: Chynna Cowart | 303-656-7464

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), through the Division of Local Government (DLG), recently awarded more than $18M in funding across 13 counties in Colorado. These 14 Innovative Housing Opportunities Incentive (IHOI) grants will provide 1,872 additional housing units, providing housing for approximately 4,867 people.

“We are working to save Coloradans money in every way possible, including making housing more affordable. Congratulations to our innovating communities finding new approaches to addressing this issue and finding ways to develop projects that save money,” said Governor Jared Polis.

HB21-1271 created three new programs, including IHOI, to promote innovative solutions for developing affordable housing across the state. It incentivizes municipalities and counties to remove land use regulatory and process barriers in addition to funding affordable housing projects/programs that embody housing and land use best practices, particularly those that incorporate State priorities such as renewable energy and childcare.

“The 1271 grant program was initiated as an incentive to encourage local governments to provide permanent regulatory relief and/or process changes to increase the affordable housing supply in their communities. The legislative intent is for communities to work at the intersection of housing while implementing best land use practices. These awards facilitate the development of attainable housing, not only now but well into the future,” said Rick Garcia, Executive Director here at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

IHOI Awardees

Among the communities receiving funding in this first round are Frisco, Boulder (city), Fort Collins, Denver, Greeley, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, Summit County, Silverton, Gunnison (city), Mancos, Winter Park, Ridgway, and Colorado Springs. 


Grant Award




Granite Park Workforce Housing

Boulder (city)


Modular Affordable Housing Factory

Fort Collins


Kechter Townhome Development



Villa Park/West Denver Accessory Dwelling Units



Hope Springs Planned Unit Development

Crested Butte


Sixth and Butte and Paradise Park Workforce Housing

Steamboat Springs


Steamboat Springs Barn Village Essential Employee Housing

Summit County


Summit County Justice Center Workforce Housing Project



Zanoni Property Acquisition and Anvil Mountain Subdivision Annexation

Gunnison (city)


Gunnison Rising Townhome Infrastructure



Mancos Conservation District Multi-Family Housing

Winter Park


Hideaway Junction Phase II Vertical Construction



Ridgway Yellow Brick Lane

Colorado Springs


Affordable Multi-Family Rental Development Fee Rebate Program

Totaling $18,415,278, this first round of IHOI awards actively supports programs or projects in which local governments modify local land use requirements and processes to facilitate affordable housing development into the future. 

Some Projects in Development
  1. Frisco Granite Park Workforce Housing: 

Located at 619 Granite Street, Lots 18-24, Block 12, the Town of Frisco has partnered with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to develop a workforce housing project. Up until recently, CDOT employees lived at the site in mobile homes. The parcel was previously identified as an underutilized site that would be ideal to redevelop for workforce housing by the Town. Additionally, CDOT identified a need to provide more desirable housing for their essential employees. It is anticipated that construction will take 20 to 24 months and that occupancy could take place in spring 2024. Upon completion, the project will consist of 22 apartment-style units split between two 3-story buildings. There will be five studios, eleven one-bedrooms, and six two-bedrooms. While rental rates are not finally set, the current modeling is based on approximately half having a rental rate at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI), and the remaining rates being up to 100% AMI. Half of the units will be reserved for CDOT employees, to ensure that CDOT has housing opportunities for those that maintain the critical transportation infrastructure in the community. The remainder of the units will be reserved for those who work for businesses in the Frisco area. It will also feature solar panels onsight, contributing to the State’s high energy efficiency initiatives.

  1. Denver Villa Park/West Denver Accessory Dwelling Units

The City of Denver has (to be) donated five sites along the Lakewood Gulch in the Villa Park neighborhood to Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver (Habitat) to work with the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative (WDRC) at DHA to develop affordably restricted accessory dwelling units (ADUs). In a community-driven response to mitigate involuntary displacement and advance equitable access to ADU building, and the focus on historically underinvested neighborhoods, the condition or nonexistence of infrastructure creates disproportionate cost impacts. These funds will cover the disproportionate infrastructure costs that have slowed down these ADU-related solutions and initiatives; applying the funds to the five sites and several dispersed ADU Pilot Program sites in the Villa Park and adjacent neighborhoods. Denver will also prioritize nearby missing sidewalk segments in order to make meaningful connections to nearby amenities and services beyond the affordable ADU parcels. This pilot program supports multigenerational living while investing in historically disadvantaged areas. The Denver Villa Park/West Denver accessory dwelling units feature 39 ownership units at 80% AMI. 

  1. Greeley Hope Springs Planned Unit Development

Hope Springs will offer 152 newly constructed attached paired homes and 22 single-family detached homes in the City of Greeley, to be sold to local low-income families as defined by the 30%-80% HUD AMI for Weld County. Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity (GWHFH) will be the lead developer for a first-of-its-kind Habitat for Humanity community in Colorado. This community will also have member-serving amenities such as an onsite childcare center, multi-modal streets, and a soccer field constructed by the Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer Club through their Kick-it Forward Foundation. The project site is located near grocery stores (Walmart, King Soopers, and Sam's Club), is near Greeley West IB High School and an existing community park, and has easy access to Highway 34. Based upon the cultural composition of its past homeowners and Greeley's dominant ethnicity, Hope Springs will provide important access to a culturally diverse population. Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity will construct Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH) in partnership with qualified families and community partners and the homes will be financed through affordable mortgages. Hope Springs will also offer 20 affordable HUD AMI rental units for low-income families. 

Qualifying for the Grant Program

The 14 local governments identified above have adopted strategies that make it easier to develop affordable housing in their communities, which made them competitive for these funds.

Once a local government demonstrates it has adopted three or more qualifying strategies, it is eligible to apply for funding from the Affordable Housing Development Incentives Grant Program. Qualifying strategies include:

  • Use of vacant publicly-owned property for affordable housing development
  • Subsidize/reduce local government fees
  • Expedited development review for affordable housing up to 120% Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Expedited development review for acquiring or repurposing underutilized commercial property
  • Density bonus program for housing needs
  • Promote submetering utility charges for affordable housing
  • Dedicated funding source to subsidize affordable housing infrastructure costs and fees
  • Middle multi-family (duplex, triplex, other) use by right in single-family residential zoning districts
  • Affordable housing use by right
  • Accessory dwelling unit (ADU) use by right in single-family zoning districts
  • Allow planned unit developments (PUDs) with integrated affordable housing units
  • Allow small square footage residential unit sizes
  • Lessened minimum parking requirements for new affordable housing
  • Land donation/acquisition/banking program
  • Inclusionary zoning ordinance (HB21-1117)
  • Other novel, innovative, creative approaches

The full language of each strategy can be found in HB21-1271 and on the last page of the IHOI program guidelines.

Honing In On Affordable Housing

With the Affordable Housing Development Incentives Grant Program, local governments are granted funds to help develop affordable housing that is liveable, vibrant, and focused on community benefits. Grants can be used to cover tap fees, infrastructure, parks, and other amenities for the affordable housing project, and it is recommended that local governments choose one or two shovel-ready projects that can spend all of the funds by June 2024, and provide gap funding.

“The Incentives Program is unique because it can be used not only to support development that meets the affordable housing needs of a given local context, but also prioritizes projects that demonstrate best land use practices, such as mixing housing types, being intentional about location and mobility, fiscally sustainable development patterns, and incorporating community benefits,” said Senior Planner KC McFerson, “Colorado's communities are unendingly creative in working on their affordable housing and land use goals and our team has been thrilled to administer funds to support that work.”

This program has two funding rounds: the first round (awards were sent out on April 28, 2022) and a main round that will open with a letter of intent process. These letters are due September 1, 2022.

For more information about IHOI, visit


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