Research shows that stable, affordable housing is crucial to the health, environment and overall well-being of our communities. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the City of Boulder added 604 permanently affordable homes to its housing inventory since January 2020.

“The last 24 months have been some of the most challenging for our community, staff and partners, however, during that time we created affordable housing at a rate we have only once accomplished in the last 22 years,” stated Kurt Firnhaber, director of Housing and Human Services (HHS). “This could only be achieved through the tenacity of our development partners and support of our Planning and Development Services Department.”

In 2020 and 2021, 494 homes were added which represents more than a doubling of affordable housing production to 247 per year, when compared with the average of 126 homes per year since 2000. Last week Boulder Housing Partners (BHP), one of the city’s affordable housing partners, preserved an additional 110 rental homes at Tantra Lake Apartments bringing our total number of affordable units added since January 2020 to 604 homes.

"Preserving affordable homes for residents from all backgrounds and wage levels is vital for our entire Boulder community," said Jeremy Durham, Executive Director at BHP. "We are grateful for our partnership with the City of Boulder and thrilled to preserve these 110 homes at Tantra Lake - creating opportunities for local workers and families to live affordably within our community.”

Of the 604 new homes, 18 were made available for purchase through the Permanently Affordable Homes Program and 586 were made available for rent through Boulder Housing Partners and other local organizations that partner with the city.

In 2020, as part of the updated Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, the city set a new goal to ensure that 15% of all residential development qualified as permanently affordable to low-, moderate- and middle-income households by 2035. Today, approximately one in 12 City of Boulder residents live in affordable housing. The city has over 3,900 permanently affordable homes and is more than halfway to its goal of 15% affordable housing by 2035.

Over the last several decades, the City of Boulder has significantly increased the availability of low- and moderate-income housing options, but middle-income housing has not seen the same level of growth. While we are actively working to expand this inventory, the city does have several programs to support middle-income community members looking to purchase a home including the Permanently Affordable Homes Program and two down payment assistance programs. Learn more about these programs on the city’s website.

Looking forward, HHS will continue to work with the Boulder County Regional Housing Partnership to leverage federal resources from the American Rescue Plan Act to accelerate affordable housing production and acquisition of both rental units and homes for purchase. The city is actively working to finalize several affordable housing projects that are expected to create more than 1,200 new permanently affordable homes over the next few years.

For more information about affordable housing in Boulder, visit the city’s Affordable Housing Dashboard.