Affordable Housing

Opportunities for All

Colorado is ranked among the worst in the country for housing affordability for first-time homebuyers. Our state came in 43rd out of 50, based on home prices relative to income, job prospects for young adults, market tightness, credit availability and homeownership rates among adults under 35.

– Information from Bankrate, 2017

Current and future housing needs

In 2017, Westminster established a task force to address specific affordable housing needs identified for our community. Below are some findings from the Affordable Housing Needs Assessment:

  1. 3,500 Westminster residents need rental assistance to afford their rent payments without being cost burdened (i.e., they pay more than 30 percent of the income in rent and utilities).
  2. More than 4,000 renters are on waitlists for subsidized housing. These renters are hoping to access the 800 rent-restricted rentals in Westminster that currently exist, but are occupied by other low-income renters.
  3. 1,700 renters earning $50,000 to $75,000 want to buy in Westminster – yet there are only 250 affordable homes for sale in their price range.
  4. The City will have 4,000 more seniors with disabilities in the next 10-15 years. Since most seniors choose to age in place, these residents will need affordable rental homes with supportive services and, for homeowners, assistance with home maintenance, repairs, and activities of daily living and home health care.
  5. An estimated 100 Westminster residents experience homelessness any given night. The majority of these – an estimated 70 percent – are families with children. The primary reasons for homelessness are lost jobs, rent increases, and family breakups.
AHN Assessment

Affordable and workforce housing strategy

The task force has taken the findings of the final report and has created a housing strategy and plan. The group is focused on removing barriers to the development of new units, as well as preserving existing units.

Affordable and Workforce Housing Strategic Plan

Affordable and workforce housing project

As work progresses on the plan, the city is still actively working with developers to bring units online, and has been assisting largely through tax and fee rebates, as well as HOME funds. Alto, a mixed-use development that includes 70 units of affordable apartments, broke ground in summer 2016. Alto is the first of several buildings planned by Adams County Housing Authority in the area around Westminster Station. Gorman & Company is the developer for Alto, which is located on a 6.5-acre parcel at the northwest corner of 71st Avenue and Federal Boulevard.

Affordable housing impacts the overall prosperity of our entire community. It can provide a substantial economic development benefit by:

  • Stabilizing the workforce
  • Reinforcing smart growth patterns
  • Revitalizing neighborhoods
  • Attracting businesses

In short, affordable housing affects all of us in Westminster, and without a sufficient supply, an entire region can be at a competitive disadvantage.