Affordable housing is a vital component of a community that creates thriving environments for people to live. Without it, households may be priced out of our communities due to increasing housing costs. To ensure that Boulder provides families and individuals with safe and affordable places to live, the city adopted a new goal in 2019 that 15% of all housing be permanently affordable to low-, moderate-, and middle-income households by 2035. To accomplish this, the City of Boulder implemented multiple programs and policies to increase access to affordable housing options. Click here to learn more about affordable housing in Boulder.
What is affordable housing?
- Affordable housing is defined as households spending less than 30% of their income on housing.
What is Area Median Income or AMI?
- Area Median Income, commonly referred to as "AMI," is a federal calculation based on census data from Boulder. Half of households make less than the 100 percent Area Median Income and half make more.
- Income limits for affordable housing, both rental and homeownership, are established at different percentages of the AMI.
What defines low-, moderate-, and middle-income households?
- Low-income households range from 0% to 60% of the Area Median Income.
- Moderate-income households range from 61% to 80% of the Area Median Income.
- Middle-income households range from 81% to 120% of the Area Median Income.
How are households eligible to live in an affordable home?
- Both renters and homeowners need to be eligible for a specific home that they would like to occupy. Each housing unit has specific income designation and can serve individuals at or below that designation. Visit our website to learn more about affordable housing in Boulder.
Number of people living in affordable homes in the City of Boulder Indicator
- This indicator was calculated using the State of Colorado standard of 1.5 people per bedroom. The city believes that this is an underestimation of the number of people living in affordable housing in Boulder.
The City of Boulder has a goal of 15% of all homes in the city to be permanently affordable for low-, moderate-, and middle-income households. The number of homes required to achieve the 15 percent goal changes over time to reflect the total number of homes in Boulder. The total number of homes in the city generally grows at a rate of 1 percent per year.
The City of Boulder actively works to increase the number of affordable homes through multiple policies, programs, and regulations. One of the main components is the availability of financial resources. The city utilizes several methods to secure funding for affordable housing such as commercial linkage fees, inclusionary housing policies, property taxes, and leveraging state and federal funds. Employing these various techniques have proven to successfully increase funding, resulting in an increase in affordable housing in the city.
In addition, the city serves as a leader in the Boulder County Regional Housing Partnership committed to addressing the diverse housing needs across the region. A regional strategy was created that seeks a unified vision, goals and set of strategies to provide affordable housing for Boulder county.
In 2018, City Council created a Housing Advisory Board to expand the city’s capacity to address housing challenges and accelerate progress toward the city’s housing goals.
Affordable housing unit data and homeowner and renter demographics come from the City of Boulder's Department of Housing & Human Services Data System. Homeowner data are collected at the time of home purchase only, so some data may be outdated and less complete for homeowners who have lived in homes for many years.
Annual Tenant Report (ATR) - Demographic data for renters is collected through the ATR on an annual basis. Data submission on demographics is voluntary and may be incomplete.
Total Boulder housing units data comes from the City of Boulder Department of Planning and Development Services.
American Community Survey (ACS) - Race/Ethnicity data for the City of Boulder general population was summarized from the most recent 5-year ACS.
This data is provided by the Housing and Human Services Department. This page will be updated annually.