The 1B Affordable Housing Measure is a once in a generation opportunity for Boulder County voters, without raising taxes, to tangibly support the funding needed to increase housing in our region. Boulder County has not had a sustainable housing fund, yet in every community in Boulder County residents express that lack of affordable housing is their primary concern. Community needs assessments continue to show that stable housing is needed for workers who can’t afford to live here, but commute here, and other residents.
Both affordable and attainable housing will be funded from this extension of a current sales and use tax in Boulder County. (Typically, affordable housing is designed to meet the needs of people at 80% of area median income and below. Attainable housing is designed to meet the needs of people whose incomes are between 80% and 120% of the area median income.)
This funding can be used for development of projects including preservation, renovation and rehabilitation. Retrofitting and rehabilitation of property uses less resource, has less environmental impact and can help us meet our climate goals. Each dollar invested in affordable/attainable housing boosts local economies by leveraging public and private resources to generate income—including resident earnings and additional local tax revenue—and supports job creation and retention.
Additional uses of the funds include programs that support homeownership, land trusts, municipal projects, mobile home park improvements, and support for resident-owned community plans. This fund allows us to use a variety of tools and innovative ideas to support our towns and municipalities to do in-fill projects and construction.
Supportive services that protect renters, provide navigation support and help prevent eviction are eligible for this funding source. Boulder County’s Regional Housing Partnership is a collective of local representatives that will help the county determine the ways to use this funding and make the most positive impact. We must address the housing shortage regionally, so that no one community bears an undue burden. Research shows that increasing access to affordable housing is the most cost-effective strategy for reducing childhood poverty and increasing economic mobility.
On November 7th Boulder County voters will have the opportunity to change the trajectory of our community by creating an Affordable Housing Fund with 1B. This proposed funding of approximately $15M of revenue using a current tax, will provide an opportunity to leverage upcoming state and federal funding opportunities such as Proposition 123 funds. Towns and cities need support for projects that can provide solutions to our housing crisis, which impacts every community in Boulder County. We will make progress on housing when renters, landlords, builders, construction companies and business join together and co-create solutions NOW. The County Commissioners will have one year to develop a plan for the use of the funds, as this measure won’t take effect until 2025. We do know that without a funding source, the housing crisis in Boulder County will only get worse. A funding source is necessary to create new opportunities. We encourage a YES on 1B.