The gap between average rent and single-family home prices in Colorado Springs has widened dramatically during the last 10 years. The average median single-family home prices increased 6.5% in the last year and the average asking rent for a two-bedroom and one-bathroom apartment increased by 6.4%.
National Community Development Week, April 10 to 14, marks an opportunity for Colorado Springs residents to learn more about the ways that the city partners with nonprofits, the private sector, and philanthropies to address high-priority housing issues in our community. Not surprisingly, in 2023, homelessness, affordable housing, and neighborhood change continue to top the list.
Each year, the city receives approximately $5 million in federal grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funds are distributed through three federal programs: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG). Our community decides locally where the funds are needed most and how best to support projects with outsized impact.
These funds support projects like a new community hub in Southeast Colorado Springs being developed by Solid Rock Community Development Corporation, or “The Commons,” Colorado Springs’ first permanent supportive housing project designed for families experiencing homelessness that opens this month.
Colorado Springs currently has 1,703 affordable multi-family units either under construction or expected to begin construction. In 2022, the City once again reached Mayor Suthers’ goal of supporting over 1,000 affordable units, which included new rentals, homeownership opportunities and units preserved. Housing that is affordable is traditionally defined in which individuals are not paying more than 30% of their income for rent or mortgage, including utilities.
The city’s Community Development Division also provides support and coordinates with local organizations and agencies working to reduce homelessness.
Colorado Springs received recognition earlier this year from the Common Sense Institute for the city’s success in reducing homelessness, noting that “The decline of the unsheltered share of the homeless population ... suggests that providers and policymakers within Colorado Springs have responded effectively to the city’s shortage of shelter.”
WorkCOS is an example of an innovative city-sponsored program that gives individuals experiencing homelessness the opportunity to secure employment in the Public Works Department.
Throughout the month of April, the city of Colorado Springs Community Development Division will share stories and projects from across our community that are changing lives and strengthening the fabric of our city.
You’ll see them shared on the city’s website, through social media and in special “Behind the Springs” podcasts. Check out ColoradoSprings.gov/CommunityDevelopment, sign up for our email newsletter, and follow @CityofCOS on social media for the complete list of projects we’ll showcase during the month.
With last fall’s voter approval of Proposition 123, additional resources are coming soon to support the city’s and the region’s efforts to meet our ongoing housing needs.
As Colorado Springs continues to grow, producing jobs and opportunities for young people, as well as an exceptional quality of life for retirees looking for an age-friendly community to call home, the city is uniquely positioned to see an ongoing surge of new housing in the development pipeline.
At the state, federal, and local levels, please join me in acknowledging and thanking our community development partners this week!
- Steve Posey, City of Colorado Springs Community Development Manager.
This Guest Column first appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette.
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The City's Community Development Division seeks to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all people in Colorado Springs.
The Community Development division manages the City's HUD funds to support public-private partnerships that build and preserve affordable housing, strengthen neighborhood facilities infrastructure, and provide direct services to the city’s most vulnerable residents.
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