Door knob in foreground, household plants in background

The Housing Legacy Program facilitates the donation or bequest of homes by Boulder homeowners wishing to leave a legacy of affordable homeownership for future generations.

Housing Legacy Program Background

The homes donated through the Housing Legacy Program are administered by Housing and Human Services Homeownership Program.

This program is dedicated to making homes in our community available to a variety of people, offering opportunities for homeownership to those with low, moderate, and middle incomes for an inclusionary housing landscape across the city. The program currently administers approximately 750 homes carrying covenants that will keep them permanently affordable into perpetuity.

The Housing Legacy Program is enabled by the donation of homes or real estate from individuals, corporations, and other organizations. Your donation or bequest enables the program to make affordable residential housing in Boulder a reality for future generations.

When you support the program, you are investing in the future of a diverse and affordable community. A planned gift to the Housing Legacy Program is a powerful expression of support for the future of our community.

How it Works

A homeowner places an Interim Covenant on the property to restrict the future sale price of the home and requires the home to be sold through the city’s Permanently Affordable Homes Program. At the same time, the homeowner would amend their will indicating that the home is to be deed restricted upon any future sale. The city does not own the home. Rather, the city ensures that the home remains affordable through a Covenant.

At the time of the owner’s death, the home would be marketed for sale through the city’s regular process -- at a deed restricted price affordable to the income limit set by the city. At the time of closing for that sale, a permanent Covenant would be put in place between the city and the new buyer, and the Interim Covenant would expire automatically. The Covenant is a permanent deed restriction. All future resales of the home would limit the appreciation of the home to ensure that it remains affordable forever (i.e., the past 10 years has seen appreciation of approximately 2% averaged annually).

City staff manage the sale of all homes in the program to ensure the Covenant is enforced. Staff also income and asset qualify all potential program buyer participants. At the time of sale, there is typically a fair selection process to randomly select the buyer due to the high demand for the program.

Donate to the Housing Legacy Program

Get in touch

If you would like to join others who have provided for the program in this special way, please get in touch to discuss questions and next steps.


Janice Zelazo Housing Legacy Day, May 5, 2017

City Council declaration photo of Janice Zelazo Housing Legacy Day

The City of Boulder City Council honors long-time Boulder resident Janice Zelazo for her role in creating the Housing Legacy program. Ms. Zelazo has worked in partnership with the city’s Housing & Human Services Department to create the Housing Legacy Program. She is also the first person to commit to donating her home to the program. The Mayor and City Council honored Ms. Zelazo during the May 2, 2017 City Council meeting. Council Member, Mary Young and Deputy Director of Housing, Kurt Firnhaber presented Ms. Zelazo with the official declaration honoring her contributions and dedicating May 5, 2017 as Janice Zelazo Housing Legacy Day.

“Her generous donation will provide more than a great home in a great neighborhood,” said Kurt Firnhaber, Deputy Director of Housing. “Her advocacy will help others to see the significant impact their donated homes can have on the community.”

Janice moved to Boulder in 1973, purchased her home in 1979 and has watched as home values continue to rise in the community. Janice wanted to preserve her home as a permanently affordable property for others to enjoy the charm and character of the Newlands neighborhood. Her support does not end there; she will also advocate for the program to various groups around the city.

The city is looking to work with nonprofit community organizations that can provide additional options for donors that would like to donate and receive a tax-deduction for their charitable giving.

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