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  • Homeownership
  • Asset Management
  • Funding
  • Inclusionary Housing
  • Affordable Housing Policy

Housing Boulder

Housing Boulder will define community priorities for addressing affordable housing challenges in our community.

Housing Boulder Working Groups

Five working groups will explore a variety of solutions to Boulder’s housing challenges.

Housing Boulder Process Subcommittee

Wednesday, March 4, from 12 to 1 p.m.
Park Central 401 Conference Room, Park Central Building, 1739 Broadway

This process subcommittee (made up of City Council and Planning Board members) will meet regularly to monitor and provide input on the public process.

Key Issues

•  Boulder’s shrinking economic middle ($65,000 to $150,000 annual household income).
•  Detached single-family homes are increasingly only affordable to the wealthy.
•  Attached condos and apartments are more affordable, but less appealing to families.
•  Almost 60 percent of Boulder workers live in surrounding communities.
•  Shifting demographics, especially aging, and changes in housing preferences.
•  How to foster diverse housing options in existing residential areas.
•  How best to guide redevelopment to address Boulder’s housing challenges.

Focus Areas

• Expand housing opportunities for middle-income households.
• Strengthen affordable housing programs for low- and middle-income households.
• Explore innovative approaches to provide more housing options.

Toolkit of Housing Options pdf


Examples of how each goal might be advanced are provided to illustrate the types of policies or initiatives that might be considered. These illustrative examples are not comprehensive.

1. Strengthen Our Current Commitments

Reach or exceed Boulder’s goals to serve very low-, low-, and moderate-income households, including people with disabilities, special needs, and the homeless.

Fact Sheet - Strengthen Our Current Commitments pdf


  • Establish a target date to achieve the current 10 percent goal of permanently affordable units.
  • Establish clear funding priorities to accomplish the goal.
  • Identify or create new policies or funding resources to accelerate progress.

2. Maintain the Middle

Prevent further loss of Boulder’s economic middle by preserving existing housing and providing a greater variety of housing choices for middle-income families and Boulder’s workforce.

Fact Sheet - Maintain the Middle pdf


  • Explore options to preserve the affordability of existing housing.
  • Facilitate the creation of relatively affordable attached townhomes and other higher-density, but family-supportive, housing types through land use and zoning changes (to be addressed through the 2015 Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan Update).
  • Identify opportunities for the city to support greater use of location-efficient mortgages to increase purchasing power.
  • Create a middle-income down-payment assistance or low-interest financing program.

3. Create Diverse Housing Choices

Facilitate the creation of a variety of housing options in every part of the city, including existing single-family neighborhoods, while preserving neighborhood character.

Fact Sheet - Create Diverse Housing Choices pdf


  • Make it easier and more financially feasible to develop accessory dwelling units and owner accessory units (e.g., granny flats and carriage houses).
  • Make it possible for groups of unrelated individuals (e.g., seniors or cooperatives) to share housing (above the current occupancy limits).
  • Make it possible to create duplex units, small townhome developments, and other appropriately scaled and contextually fitting multi-unit housing in existing single-family neighborhoods.
  • Establish minimum density standards or alternative approaches to managing density to avoid creating new areas that offer only large, high-priced, single-family homes.

4. Create 15-Minute Neighborhoods

Foster mixed-income, mixed-use, highly walkable neighborhoods in amenity-rich locations (e.g., close to public transit, parks, open space and trails, employment, retail services, etc.).


  • Identify areas for housing that are appropriate to the context and then offer a variety of housing types and styles to meet Boulder’s future housing needs.
  • Partner with nonprofit housing developers to create mixed-income, mixed-use developments on key opportunity sites.
  • Explore new tools to incentivize or require desired unit mixes, types, or sizes, such as “benefit capture” provisions connected to property rezoning.
  • Establish a pattern book of desired housing outcomes, particularly for family-friendly, higher-density housing and housing that meets special needs, linked to streamlined review processes.

5. Strengthen Partnerships

Strengthen current partnerships and explore creative new public-private partnerships to address our community’s housing challenges (e.g., University of Colorado, private developers, financing entities, affordable housing providers, etc.).

Fact Sheet - Strenghten Partnerships pdf

Community Forum Notes - Strenghten Partnerships pdf


  • Work with CU to facilitate housing development in key locations (e.g., north of Boulder Creek, Williams Village, and South Campus).
  • Create a project development and facilitation role within the city.
  • Facilitate expansion of Boulder Housing Partners’ role.

6. Enable Aging in Place

Provide housing options for seniors of all abilities and incomes to remain in the community, with access to services and established support systems.

Fact Sheet - Enable Aging in Place pdf

Community Forum Notes - Enable Again in Place pdf


  • Work with existing and new partners to meet the housing needs of seniors by providing appropriate housing choices and a range of options.
  • Strengthen and expand the community’s support services for seniors.
  • Work with partners to meet the needs of people with disabilities and others with special needs.

Code for America Partnership

The City of Boulder is teaming with Code for America to encourage and empower Boulder community members to take a more active role in their local government.

Notes from Jan. 26 Why Housing Matters! Community Forum

Project Documents

Articles and Resources Related to the Housing Boulder Discussion

Spring - Summer 2014 Fall 2014 - Spring 2015 Summer 2015

Foundations for Action
Understand current housing conditions and challenges and start identifying specific tools to address those challenges.

Strategic Direction
Develop potential tools as a basis for community discussion of ideas and opportunities.

Strategic Action
A draft strategy will be presented to City Council in spring 2015. Staff will then develop a detailed work plan for short-, medium- and long-term actions.

Michael Pyatok's Presentation from Jan. 26

Housing Boulder 101


Staff Name Title Phone
Jay Sugnet Senior Planner 303-441-4057
Jeff Yegian Division of Housing Manager 303-441-4363
Susan Richstone Deputy Director of Community Planning & Sustainability 303-441-3271

Housing Boulder Videos

Inside Boulder News - Code for Boulder

This video is a segment from the February 27, 2015 episode of Inside Boulder. For more Inside Boulder visit

Inside Boulder News - Why Housing Matters Symposium

This video is a segment from the January 23, 2015 episode of Inside Boulder. For more Inside Boulder visit

Inside Boulder News - Housing Boulder 101 Webinar

This video is a segment from the November 21, 2014 episode of Inside Boulder. For more Inside Boulder visit

Boulder Housing Choice Survey Results

This is a video segment from the June 6, 2014 episode of Inside Boulder News. For more videos, visit:

Middle-income Housing Survey

This is a video segment from the January 31, 2014 episode of Inside Boulder News. For more videos, visit:

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