Hickenlooper will sign affordable housing bill – Denver Business Journal

A bill has been passed that will extend Colorado’s Affordable Housing Tax Credit (AHTC) program through 2024.

Governor Hickenlooper will sign it into law today.

Senate Bill 18-007, which passed the House Finance Committee in March by a 10-3 vote, gives tax credits to developers for building affordable housing units. The bill was sponsored by senators Jack Tate, Lucia Guzman, speaker Crisanta Duran and representative Jon Becker.

According to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), this program has leveraged over $465 million in private sector investment into Colorado and has helped support the development and preservation of over 4,000 affordable apartments.

“SB-7 continues Colorado’s state AHTC program, which is a great example of a public-private partnership that produces the high-quality developments we need," said Senator Tate. "This is a point of leverage that brings millions of dollars more in resources to the Colorado economy, while simultaneously helping lower-income Coloradans find housing."

He called it a "win-win" for Colorado.

The program is based on the federal Affordable Rental Housing Tax Credit that was created under President Reagan in 1986. It serves households with a median annual income of $19,500, which is about 30 percent of area median income.

“As so many Coloradans struggle to afford housing, the state AHTC remains an imperative program to create and sustain affordable rental housing stock in our communities," said Cris White, CHFA executive director and CEO. "Nearly half of the state’s renter population is cost burdened, spending more than 30 percent of their gross annual income on housing costs, demonstrating the importance of resources to support affordable rental housing."

According to CHFA, 37 of the 115 developments between 2015 and 2017 that were built with the federal tax credits were located out of the seven-county Denver metro region.

“This bill ensures that more Coloradans have access to affordable housing,” Speaker Duran said. “The ultimate beneficiaries are seniors, veterans, and hardworking Coloradans who are struggling to find an affordable place to call home in today’s hot real estate market.”

Senator Guzman added that one of the most basic obligations as an elected official is to make sure every Coloradan can keep a roof over their head.

"It’s especially important that we focus on affordable housing as our state grows and costs continue to climb. Colorado’s AHTC program is a crucial part of this effort, and I’m proud to have sponsored its renewal."

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