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In Denver’s tough housing market, HUD asks youth not to give up on home buying.

By Elizabeth Hernandez – Denver Post

 

Ivan Sanchez, right, of Brother’s Redevelopment discusses housing resources with Metropolitan University of Denver student Brayan Alpizar, left, during the university’s fall welcome week on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rocky Mountain Regional Office hosted a ‘House Party’, along with the Denver Housing Authority and Brothers Redevelopment, to talk with students at Metropolitan University of Denver about homeownership possibilities. (Photo by Eric Lutzens/The Denver Post)

 

Metropolitan University of Denver’s Wednesday welcome-back-to-campus fair featured food trucks, recruiting student clubs and a visit from the feds.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rocky Mountain Regional Office’s booth stood among rows of college-related resources, beckoning students and staff preparing for their first week back classes to learn about homeownership possibilities and debunk myths around the home buying process, said Dominique Jackson, HUD Rocky Mountain’s regional administrator.

“We’re here to help students and faculty see that homeownership is more accessible than they might imagine,” Jackson said. “People think they have to have boatloads of money, that they have to put down a ton for down payments, that they have to have absolutely perfect credit and that they can’t qualify for a loan, and that’s just not true. There are so many resources to help you.”

These HUD events, titled “House Parties,” aimed at young adults and communities of color are happening across the country, but Jackson noted their education efforts are critical in Colorado when examining Denver and the surrounding area’s housing market.

“We all know that housing costs are continuing to rise,” Jackson said.

HUD housing counselors met with passing students on the most diverse four-year institution of higher education in Colorado, teaching them about federal housing resources including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the federal government and issued by a bank or lender approved by HUD. The loans often require a lower down payment than conventional loans and sometimes allow for the buyer to have a lower credit score.

However, HUD data found the FHA single-family home market in Denver is declining, with fewer homes being approved and a higher median sales price. In 2022, FHA approved 24,014 homes in Colorado and 14,073 in the Denver metro, a decrease of 33% and 36%, respectively, from 2021, according to the data.

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