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The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), in partnership with Colorado Energy Office and Colorado Department of Transportation, awarded $1,476,700 in planning grants across 10 jurisdictions in Colorado as part of the Strong Communities Grant Program.
“Our administration is focused on creating a more livable, sustainable, and affordable Colorado and these grants can help us do that. We want to help create more thriving communities, kick-start more housing, and help more Coloradans live near where they work or send their kids to school,” said Governor Jared Polis.
There are two programs within the Strong Communities Grant Program: planning grants and infrastructure grants. Both programs are designed to help local governments align policies and regulations to ensure that Coloradans can afford to live where they want to live, near where they work, and near multi-modal transportation.
“We are thrilled to support local governments to ensure that we are not just accommodating growth but that we are shaping the Colorado of tomorrow with foresight and purpose,” said Maria De Cambra, Executive Director of The Department of Local Affairs. “These grants support growth that saves Coloradans money, supports our economy and protects our environment.”
The Strong Communities Program incentivizes the adoption of practices, programs, and policies that support sustainable development patterns and locating affordable housing in infill locations near jobs, transit. HB22-1304, sponsored by Representative Dylan Roberts, Representative Mary Bradfield, Senator James Coleman, and Senator Julie Gonzales allocated funding to the Strong Communities Grant Program.
In this first round of the program, DOLA awarded grants to 10 jurisdictions, funding the adoption of up to 60 new land use best practices, as well as housing needs assessments, ADU program guidelines, community land trusts, and updates to intergovernmental agreements.
|Archuleta County Joint Regional Housing Needs Assessment
|City of Gunnison
|Gunnison Land Development Code Update
|Town of Hudson
|Hudson Land Use and Subdivision Code Update
|Larimer County Cooperative Approaches to Growth Management
|El Paso County
|El Paso County Land Development Code Update
|City of Aspen
|Aspen Community Land Trust
|City of Rifle
|Rifle Housing Needs Assessment and Code Update
|City of Colorado Springs
|Colorado Springs Land Use Planning and Program Development
|Gilpin County Housing, Land Use, and Infrastructure Policy Update
|Town of Crested Butte
|Crested Butte Strategic Infill Plan and Zoning Code Update
“This program helps communities direct development into downtowns and core areas to take advantage of existing infrastructure and helps limit sprawl,” said Lisa Loranger, Strong Communities Grant Program Manager. “It also encourages communities to allow for a larger mix of housing types and sizes to blend into existing neighborhoods and provide more affordable options for people across the economic spectrum.”
A Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for round two of this program will open in mid-January, 2024. This round will fund the adoption of land use best practices to support affordable housing, and can also support the adoption of new and upgraded planning and zoning codes, housing needs assessments, water planning and conservation efforts, wildfire planning and mitigation policies, short term rental policies, etc.
Please direct inquiries regarding initial program interest to your Regional Manager.
Learn more about the Strong Communities Planning Grant Program.