Laying Groundwork for More Housing That is Affordable: Polis Administration Announces First Recipients of Proposition 123 Land Banking Funds
DENVER – Today, Gov. Jared Polis, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), and Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) announced the first 16 recipients of the voter approved Proposition 123 Land Banking funds. This funding is intended to support Colorado communities as they acquire and preserve land for affordable housing, from Rangely to Denver and Salida to Huerfano County.
“We need more housing now, and these funds will support a critical first step to create those housing opportunities for Coloradans around the state,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “The recipients announced today will help create 1,380 housing units, helping Coloradans live where they want to live — close to their jobs, schools, the places they love.”
Availability of land is considered one of the most significant barriers to affordable housing development. Established by Proposition 123, which was passed by Colorado voters in November 2022, the Land Banking program provides grants to local and tribal governments and forgivable loans to nonprofits with a demonstrated history of providing affordable housing, to support the acquisition and preservation of land for affordable for-sale and rental housing development. The recipients announced today are projected to create an estimated 1,380 housing units across the state, including housing for at-risk young adults and people transitioning out of homelessness.
“A strong economy includes both good-paying jobs and housing for every income level. Growing Colorado’s supply of housing will take a coordinated effort by state and local partners. The Proposition 123 Land Banking Program offers one way we can support rural and urban communities across the state as they preserve land for affordable housing development,” said Eve Lieberman, OEDIT Executive Director.
A total of $25,340,000 will be awarded to 16 recipients, who will be required to complete statutory milestones over coming years including achieving proper zoning, finalizing development plans, and securing development funding and permits.
Archway Investment Corporation - Gates Family Housing, Denver - $2,000,000
Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity - Affordable Homeownership, Jefferson County - $50,000
Chaffee Housing Authority - Alpine West, Buena Vista - $1,320,000
City of Grand Junction - Salt Flats, Grand Junction - $2,200,000
City of Salida - Salida Eastside Senior Living Apartments, Salida - $750,000
Denver Cultural Property Trust - Five Points Historic Cultural District Affordable Homes, Denver - $1,975,000
Elevation Community Land Trust - Rural Southern CO Homeownership Portfolio, Las Animas County - $750,000
Habitat for Humanity of Grand County - Habitat Morris Project, Granby - $1,600,000
Housing Authority of the City of Aurora - Walden 35 Phase II, Aurora - $1,450,000
Housing Catalyst - Village on Eastbrook - Fort Collins - $1,610,000
Huerfano County Economic Development - Northlands Subdivision of the Huajatolla Hills, Walsenburg - $225,000
Langston Hughes Affordable Housing - Aurora Family Apartments, Aurora -$5,000,000
SAFER Colorado, Centennial - $700,000
Town of Frisco, 101 West Main Street, Frisco - $5,000,000
Town of Rangely - Sagewood West Affordable Housing, Rangely - $240,000
We Fortify - Dignified Housing Village for At-Risk Young Adults, Colorado Springs - $470,000
“CHFA is honored to serve as program administrator for the Proposition 123 Affordable Housing Financing Fund, including the Land Banking program,” said Cris White, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of CHFA. “High demand for the Land Banking funds underscores the great need for affordable housing in communities across the state. These sixteen awardees represent a geographically diverse mix of nonprofits and local governments working hard to produce more affordable housing for Coloradans.”
"In October of 2023, We Fortify reached out to the Continuum of Care asking how many young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 were in need of housing; there were 84. Of those 84, 66 qualified for our programmed housing village, but at the time we had only one home available,” said Shelly Jensen, Founder and CEO of We Fortify. “The Affordable Housing Financing Fund Land Banking program has made it possible for We Fortify to build another village that will allow young adults to move out of homelessness into a safe and dignified community where they may work toward a state of economic and emotional stability and social connectedness. This new village, similar to the founding Working Fusion village, will serve hundreds."
“This Land Banking opportunity means so much to us here in Huerfano County. In rural Colorado, we need housing to make economic development happen. Access to this capital will allow us to build 22 new homes that we can use to attract new industry. Thank you so much for this opportunity to grow Huerfano County,” said Carlton Croft, Huerfano County Director of Economic Development.
CHFA received 113 Letters of Intent representing more than $255 million in funding requests. A total of 26 projects were invited to submit applications for the first round of Land Banking funds. Projects were evaluated by OEDIT and CHFA based on priorities outlined in statute, including high-density housing, mixed-income housing, and environmental sustainability. The selection process also considered accessibility to transit and walkable access to community services, readiness to proceed, financial feasibility, geographic distribution, and total number of units proposed, all priorities outlined by the Governor’s Executive Order to address Colorado’s housing supply.
The Land Banking program is part of the Affordable Housing Financing Fund, established by Proposition 123, managed by OEDIT and administered by CHFA. The Affordable Housing Financing Fund also includes the Equity and Concessionary Debt programs. Total funding for the Affordable Housing Financing Fund is projected to grow to approximately $187 million next year, with future program details available later this year. . Ongoing updates are available by signing up to receive newsletter updates.
About the Colorado Affordable Housing Financing Fund
Passed by voters in November 2022, Proposition 123 established the State Affordable Housing Fund to advance the development and preservation of affordable housing in Colorado. The measure directs 40% of those funds to the Colorado Affordable Housing Support Fund administered by the state Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and 60% of funds to the Colorado Affordable Housing Financing Fund managed by OEDIT. OEDIT selected Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) to serve as the Affordable Housing Financing Fund third-party administrator. The Affordable Housing Financing Fund consists of three programs: Land Banking, Equity and Concessionary Debt.
About Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT)
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) works with partners to create a positive business climate that encourages dynamic economic development and sustainable job growth. Under the leadership of Governor Jared Polis, we strive to advance the State’s economy through financial and technical assistance that fosters local and regional economic development activities throughout Colorado. OEDIT offers a host of programs and services tailored to support business development at every level including business retention services, business relocation services, and business funding and incentives. Our office includes the Global Business Development division; Colorado Tourism Office; Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office; Colorado Creative Industries; Business Financing & Incentives division; the Colorado Small Business Development Network; Cannabis Business Office; Colorado Office of Film, TV & Media; the Minority Business Office; Employee Ownership Office; and Rural Opportunity Office. Learn more at oedit.colorado.gov.
About Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA)
For 50 years, CHFA has strengthened Colorado by investing in affordable housing and community development. CHFA invests in affordable homeownership, the development and preservation of affordable rental housing, helps small- and medium-sized businesses access capital, offers technical assistance and financial support to strengthen local communities, and supports mission-aligned nonprofits through philanthropic investment. CHFA is not a state agency. CHFA is a self-sustaining public enterprise. For more information about CHFA, please visit chfainfo.com or call 1.800.877.chfa (2432).