This fall, Colorado residents will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 123, officially called the “Dedicate State Income Tax Revenue to Fund Housing Projects Initiative”. The proposition would dedicate 0.1% of (existing) state income tax revenue for affordable housing programs and projects, or about $300 million, each year. For projects to be eligible, either through a non-profit or a local government, the local government would have to commit to increase affordable housing by 3% per year through 2026.
The funds would go into several buckets, including purchase and preservation of land for affordable housing, funding for affordable multifamily rentals projects, and programs to increase home ownership. Rental assistance and eviction defense programs would be aimed at helping the unhoused.
In addition to the commitment to increase affordable housing by 3% per year, local municipalities will have to have a fast track approval process for affordable projects. Local governments will lose access to the funds if they fall out of compliance..
We here at Boulder Housing Network believe that the housing crisis requires urgent attention, and this is a step in the right direction. We understand that in lean years the affordable housing fund could put a crunch on the state budget, which often impacts education first. While we believe this is a serious issue, problems with how the state funds education is beyond the mission of BHN (but we’d be happy to talk about it over a cup of coffee).
For more information, check out these resources: