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A Guide to Affordable Housing in Denver: DHA Answers Your Questions

MICHAEL ROBERTS MARCH 19, 2019 6:02AM

A Guide to Affordable Housing in Denver: DHA Answers Your Questions

MICHAEL ROBERTS MARCH 19, 2019 6:02AM

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and every candidate wanting to take his job who took part in our recent mayoral Q&A series mentioned affordable housing as a major priority.

That makes sense given still-sky-high rents in the Mile High City, not to mention a recent survey that concluded Denver had the worst home affordability in the nation. But plenty of people are unclear about Denver’s efforts to help those in need find and secure housing under circumstances that often remain difficult despite the strong economy. So we reached out to Ryan Tobin, chief real estate investment officer for the Denver Housing Authority, for answers.

Below, Tobin offers a basic Denver affordable-housing guide, with key assists from DHA spokesperson Stella Madrid and Derek Woodbury, communications director for another city bureau, the Denver Economic Development & Opportunity.

Woodbury, corresponding via email, spells out the central term like so: “As a general rule, affordable housing is defined as housing where occupants pay no more than 30 percent of their income for gross housing costs, including utilities. This standard is set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Our office has broadened this definition slightly, allowing for a housing cost ratio of up to 35 percent among households that are applying for certain programs.”