(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The City of Colorado Springs has 1,703 affordable multi-family units either under construction or expected to begin construction, according to the 2022 HomeCOS update released by the Community Development Division.

The report states that 1,236 units are anticipated for completion before 2025 and tax credits were awarded to 467 units that are expected to break ground in the next year.

“HomeCOS, Housing Our Future” is the City’s comprehensive affordable and attainable housing plan to support Mayor Suthers challenge to the community to build, preserve and create opportunities to purchase one thousand units of affordable housing each year.

“We are really excited to continue to partner with these local nonprofits and development corporations to continue to further the mayor’s goal. This is not a goal that has sat on the shelf and become stagnant. We really are working very diligently to continue to bring affordable housing options into our community,” said Katie Sunderlin, Senior Affordable Housing Coordinator.

In 2022, the City once against reached that goal by supporting 1,057 affordable units, including new rentals, homeownership opportunities and units preserved.

Housing that is affordable is traditionally defined in which individuals are not paying more than 30 percent of their income for rent or mortgage, including utilities.

“I think two projects that we are really looking forward to highlighting in 2023 are The Commons projects, which will be leasing at the beginning of this year. It’s being developed by a local nonprofit Homward Pikes Peak, and it will be for some of our very low income families in our community,” said Sunderlin. 

“As well as The Village at Solid Rock project. That was a really great collaboration with a local church who subdivided their land to provide 77 units of housing for our workforce families. Those two are going to be very impactful for both areas of the community they’re located in,” said Sunderlin. 

The essential homeownership and preservation efforts funded by the Community Development Division include Brothers Redevelopment rehabilitating 106 units in 2022 for low-income households across the City, most of whom are seniors; the Colorado Springs Housing Authority preserving and converting two of its existing single-family homes to fully accessible units; and Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity and Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust assisting 13 low-income households in becoming homeowners.

The division is also supporting the efforts of Sunshine Home Share, which helps people above the age of 55 stay in their homes by matching them with someone who can provide supportive services such as lawn mowing and companionship, in exchange for affordable rent. The organization placed 10 residents in an affordable living situation with a senior in 2022.

The Community Development Division, in partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities, also launched the Affordable and Attainable Multi-Family Fee Rebate Program in second quarter of 2022. The program makes available funds to rebate development charges accrued by qualified multi-family rental projects.

The development charges include Land Use & Engineering, Stormwater and Drainage, Parks and School Land Dedications and Utility Infrastructure tap and impact fees. Projects are evaluated for alignment with local housing priority needs and City strategic plans and awarded the rebate as a percentage of assessed fees. Additionally, the City launched a sales and use tax refund for qualified affordable housing projects in Q3 of 2022.

The HomeCOS update also notes that continued increase price of housing in Colorado Springs. The average median single family home prices increased 6.5 percent in the last year and the average asking rent for a two-bedroom and one-bathroom apartment increased 6.4 percent.