42,000 Denver households would qualify for subsidized housing under new proposal

Data Desk

DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s biggest city has gotten expensive enough for officials to expand their target for which income levels need a hand with the rent.

Denver Community Planning and Development and the Department of Housing Stability released a draft proposal for a new affordable housing policy on Oct. 13.

The proposal mirrors the kinds of policies other notably expensive cities have adopted in the past, including Austin, Los Angeles, Portland, San Jose and Seattle, among others.

The proposal would require all new apartments or condominiums with eight or more units to reserve a percentage for households in certain income ranges. Apartments would need 8-10% of units for households making up to 60% of the area median income, and condos would need 10-12% of units for households making up to 80% of the area median income.

Officials say they need to offer more housing options to workers at these mid-income levels.

Depending on the size of the household, 51-80% of the area median income for Denver could range anywhere from $35,000 a year for a single person to $78,500 for a household of four.

According to U.S. Census analysis, this would cover upwards of 42,000 of Denver’s households.

Till now, housing affordability policies in Denver have focused on those making less than 50% of area median income. The new focus reflects the high-income households that have moved into Denver in the recent past.

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