Colorado Housing Toolkit Program

Affordable Housing Guided Toolkit and Local Officials Guide Program

Draft Framework for developing the policies and procedures for the Colorado Housing Toolkit Program.

The Housing Toolkit Program will offer technical assistance to local governments who demonstrate an understanding of the housing needs of their residents and communities, and show a commitment to taking the steps necessary to make changes to their land use codes and related processes that can incentivize and reduce barriers to the development of affordable housing. This may include obtaining and supporting the development of viable sites in their communities for the development of affordable housing, and attracting developers committed to making such investments in their communities.

Timeline
➢    September 1, 2021: Division of Local Government issue Program Guidelines for Incentive Grant and Planning Grant Programs
➢    September 1, 2021: Division of Housing issue Draft Framework for developing the policies and procedures for the Housing Toolkit Program
➢    October - November 2021: Draft Housing Toolkit Program RFP for a consulting firm
➢    December 2021 - January 2022: Solicit Consulting firm to develop technical assistance modules and training tools 
➢    February 2022 - May 2022: Develop modules and training tools
➢    July 2022: Issue RFP for Communities
➢    August 2022: Select first round of Housing Toolkit communities
➢    November 1, 2022: First Report due pertaining to use of funds through the Housing Toolkit Program fund 
➢    November 2, 2023: Second Report due pertaining to use of funds through the Housing Toolkit Program fund 
 

Procedures to apply for the Housing Toolkit Program

The Division of Housing (DOH) will solicit applications through a Request for Applications (RFA) process. DOH, together with the Division of Local Government (DLG), will score applications for the Housing Toolkit Program based on the following criteria: 

Eligible Grantees: Counties, Municipalities and federally recognized tribes within the State of Colorado. 

Applicants must:

➢    Commit to adopting land use practices that promote the development of affordable housing;  
➢    Create the maximum impact on the development of affordable housing in the areas of greatest need in their area; and
➢    At time of application, applicant must be planning and/or assessing one or more of the following factors to be eligible for the Housing Toolkit Program:

1.    The use of vacant publicly owned real property within the local government for the development of affordable housing;

2.    The creation of a program to subsidize or otherwise reduce local development review or fees, including but not limited to building permit fees, planning waivers, and water and sewer tap fees, for affordable housing development;

3.    The creation of an expedited development review process for affordable housing aimed at households the annual income of which is at or below one hundred twenty percent of the area median income of households of that size in the county in which the housing is located;

4.    The creation of an expedited development review process for acquiring or repurposing underutilized commercial property that can be rezoned to include affordable housing units, including the preservation of existing affordable housing units;

5.    The establishment of a density bonus program to increase the construction of units that meet critical housing needs in the local community;

6.    With respect to water utility charges, the creation of processes to promote the use of sub-metering of utility charges for affordable housing projects and the creation of expertise in water utility matters dedicated to affordable housing projects;

7.    With respect to infrastructure, the creation of a dedicated funding source to subsidize infrastructure costs and associated fees related to publicly owned water, sanitary sewer, storm sewers, and roadways infrastructure;

8.    Granting duplexes, triplexes, or other appropriate multi-family housing options as a use by right in single-family residential zoning districts;

9.    The classification of a proposed affordable housing development as a use by right when it meets the building density and design standards of a given zoning district;

10.    Authorizing accessory dwelling units as a use by right on parcels in single family zoning districts that meet the safety and infrastructure capacity considerations of local governments;

11.    Allowing planned unit developments with integrated affordable housing units;

12.    Allowing the development of small square footage residential unit sizes;

13.    Lessened minimum parking requirements for new affordable housing developments;

14.    The creation of a land donation, land acquisition, or land banking program;

15.    An inclusionary zoning ordinance (per CRS 29-20-104(1)); and

16.    Other novel, innovative, or creative approaches to incentivize affordable housing development.

Selection Criteria
Awards will be based on:
➢    Evidence of community commitment to improving affordable housing options;
➢    Mismatch of demand and housing options;
➢    Communities less than 100,000; and
➢    Services requested.

Award size to eligible grantees: Range from $25,000 to $300,000 

Performance Criteria  
Performance criteria will be tailored to the local community goals. No less than two additional factors, as defined above, shall be included in the community goals.

Reporting 
Grantees shall report quarterly to DOH on achievements toward individualized community goals.