There is no one answer to our lack of affordable housing – What is now lacking today is a commitment to a solution – We are mired in the policies of the past as the debacles over the tiny homes and the deed-restricted “affordable” homes showed.
Here are some ideas that will move us in the right directions:
- Work collaboratively with Denver Public Schools to offer affordable housing options for teachers and other DPS employees. We need to be creative
- Explore acquiring closed and abandoned DPS schools to convert to transitional housing for the homeless or affordable units for working people.
- Encourage churches and non-profits where possible to offer some housing. Messiah Community Church, for example, has one family renting space – this has the added option of having someone at the Church thus discouraging vandalism. We will make sure the City staff works with these groups to have a quick approval process. We will make sure the neighborhoods are heard and are part of the solution.
- Make it easier for businesses to allow employees to live on site – let’s explore creative options that do not negatively impact neighborhoods. We will work with neighborhood associations and business improvement districts and other stakeholders.
- If there is no neighborhood opposition, allow businesses to have small mobile homes on site for rental.
- Consider changing zoning and building codes to allow appropriately sized properties to accommodate tiny homes.
- Require and more importantly enforce requirements to provide affordable housing in new developments.
- Develop a program to allow subsidized housing residents an ability to purchase their own home.
- Use City dollars and land or acquire and donate land to incentivize affordable housing development.
Every option must be thoroughly vetted and supported by the neighborhoods – however, Denver has shown an openness to innovation and creativity.