Portfolio: Affordable Housing

Portfolio: Affordable Housing 

At the heart of our community lies the importance of housing, which provides a sense of safety, security, and well-being. Unfortunately, many hard-working individuals in Jefferson County such as teachers, nurses, firefighters, librarians, police officers and dedicated nonprofit employees face the challenge of being unable to afford to live near their place of employment.

More and more Jeffco residents are finding it difficult to afford to live in Jeffco. To understand the issues facing our communities, we listen relentlessly and systematically. One of the things we consistently hear is that the high, and rising, cost of housing in Jefferson County has made it difficult for our firefighters, librarians, police officers, teachers, nurses, and nonprofit employees to live where they work. This not only affects the employee, but it also hurts the employer and ultimately, our community.

That is why we are working to preserve or increase housing options that are within reach for Jeffco residents who earn between 60-120% AMI (roughly incomes of $52,000 to $150,000, depending on household size). There’s a gap that exists between existing programs/subsidies and market-rate housing for Jeffco. This range of income doesn’t typically qualify for the financial subsidies that make housing development viable.

Without affordable housing options, the workforce that supports a thriving economy cannot be sustained which makes recruiting talent challenging, influences productivity and makes it difficult to retain talent.

Jeffco has a shortage of over 20,000 attainable housing units across all income levels 

In 2021 the median home price in Jeffco was $608,424, 50% higher than the national average.

A household must make more than $3,507/month for an apartment at the median rental rate to be attainable in Jeffco.

At these price points, families with low to moderate incomes are spending more than 30% of their gross income on housing. 

Our Approach

Colorado Gives Foundation partnered with Syntrinsic Social Capital (SSC) to conduct an affordable housing study for Jefferson County. The study analyzed current housing needs, housing efforts, and production gaps, and informed our strategies for partnering with our communities to increase the development of affordable housing options. 

  • Bring it Home Fund: We created a fund and seeded it with $15 million to preserve or increase housing options that are affordable for Jeffco residents earning between 60-120% area median income (roughly $52,000 to $150,000, depending on household size). 
  • Housing Advocacy Steering Committee: In partnership with community members, we convened a Housing Advocacy Steering Committee to identify and advance policy solutions to increase affordable housing options for our workforce. 
  • Build Awareness: We partnered with community advocates to build awareness of the options, challenges, and implications of affordable housing in Jeffco. 
  • Grantmaking: We provided nearly $1 million in grants to local nonprofits to support immediate housing needs in the community. 

In Action

New property alert! Vance Street Lofts

We are excited to have made our first Bring it Home investment in an innovative collaboration providing housing that is affordable for essential community members like teachers, fire fighters and office workers. Colorado Gives Foundation provided a $500,000 low, 3%-interest loan to Foothills Regional Housing to help complete the $7.5 million purchase facilitated by Weave Social Finance’s Colorado Housing Accelerator Initiative (CHAI) Fund .The loan aligns with the Foundation’s new Bring it Home Fund’s mission to create and maintain affordable housing in Jeffco.

Together, we can Make Good Happen 

Here’s how you can join our efforts.

Donate to the Bring it Home Fund

Every dollar makes a difference, whether it’s $25 or $10,000. Donate any amount and it will be pooled to invest and support affordable housing in Jeffco.

The Bring it Home Fund at Colorado Gives Foundation invests in housing by providing low-cost capital to create and maintain affordable housing in Jeffco. Maintaining and building affordable housing takes time. It’s a big problem that no one person or organization can tackle alone.

But together, we can change this. Every dollar makes a difference, whether it’s $25 or $10,000. Donate any amount and it will be pooled to invest and support affordable housing in Jeffco.

Open a Donor Advised Fund 

With a $25,000 minimum contribution, you can open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) and select the Bring it Home Fund as the investment option. DAF funding is pooled in the Bring it Home Fund for greater impact. The Bring it Home Fund was created to provide a modest return. Any earnings from the Bring it Home Fund will be returned to your DAF. You, as the advisor on the DAF, can then recommend support for other causes and/or organizations you care about.

Connect today with our Philanthropic Services team to establish your Donor Advised Fund.

Connect with our Team

Raise Awareness

Community advocates can engage on the housing issues by downloading toolkits and resources to help build awareness of the issue in our community. Toolkits coming soon!

Stay Informed

Register to attend the Jeffco Housing Webinar Series, presented in partnership with Bell Policy Center and Colorado Gives Foundation.

The housing crisis is a hot topic of conversation throughout the state. But what does the problem look like in Jefferson County, and what can be done about it? This webinar lays a basic foundation for understanding current housing challenges in Jeffco and what it means for our teachers, police officers, firefighters and others, exploring common housing myths, and sharing information about current community-based efforts to address the crisis and how you can join efforts to develop and advance solutions.

Watch the Replay

This session explores some of the tangible systemic impacts of housing challenges across Jeffco’s communities, including effects on childcare, health, education, and the workforce. Local experts share perspectives on these impacts across issues and the need for sustainable solutions. 

Watch the Replay

Housing concerns have increasingly become a pressing issue, affecting not just our daily lives but also the broader community and economy. This session aims to shed light on the benefits to our community when we come together with solutions. Hear from community members and policy experts about the positive economic and personal impact of housing on everyone and discover some of the efforts currently underway working to shape the future of Jefferson County.

Watch the Replay

Housing promises to be a major topic for the 2024 legislative session. Policy experts provide insights on some of the major housing-related policy proposals making their way through the state legislature and the solutions they propose for addressing affordable housing in the state. These experts will also explore the potential impacts of these state-level policies on local policy solutions in Jefferson County, and the potential for leveraging both state and local efforts to address the housing crisis.

Register

What do housing policy solutions mean to our community? What might they look like in practice? This learning session looks at some past, present, and possible future housing policy solutions from a layperson’s perspective, looking at what they set out to do, their impact, and lessons learned, and opportunities and barriers to implementation. 

Register

This session shares new research findings from the Bell Policy Center on the impact of historical housing policies on Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) and other marginalized communities in Jefferson County, and the continuing effects of these past policies on the county’s current housing challenges. 

Register

This session looks at the multiple efforts in progress to address the housing crisis in Jefferson County, including the Housing Advocacy Steering Committee, the Bring It Home Fund, legislative policy, and local implementation of policies such as Proposition 123. What have we learned? What wins can we build on? What were the missed opportunities? Local leaders reflect on these questions, offer a roadmap forward, and share toolkits and resources for continued work. 

Register