There are few things more important to a working family in Colorado than secure and attainable housing. A home is the largest investment most Coloradans will ever make, and supplies the equity middle-class families need to get ahead.
Unfortunately, housing in Colorado is getting harder and harder to afford. Rents in Colorado have risen by hundreds of dollars per month since 2000–up more than 22% just since 2014–but wages haven’t kept pace. Housing in the Denver area is now considered “seriously unaffordable,” and could jeopardize the strong economic growth we’ve experienced in recent years.
Colorado needs new approaches to solve the housing affordability crisis. In Denver, officials are trying to retain the existing stock of affordable homes while encouraging new developments. In other prosperous cities where housing costs have skyrocketed, checks and balances like rent stabilization and assistance for developers to construct affordable housing have helped reduce the pressure on working families. This year, Colorado lawmakers passed a bill to extend the state’s affordable housing tax credit for another five years, but much more needs to be done.
It shouldn’t take luck to find a place to live you can afford.
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