Attainable Housing


"Affordable housing" and "Attainable housing."

While these terms may sound similar, they are very different.

"Affordable housing" is a term of art that describes efforts to make housing available to people whose incomes fall below some fraction of the Average Median Income. It's a real problem, and there are government tools to provide decent housing that does not cost more than 30 percent of gross income (or some similar measure). The governmental tools include low income tax credits, subsidies to cover horizontal development costs, and rent vouchers.

"Attainable housing" is more broadly inclusive and imagines that some housing cannot be attained for people with middle class incomes. Gentrification and overheated real estate markets can price people with full time, excellent jobs out of the housing. Units of local government can impose development fees to make housing more attainable for people whose income exceeds the average median income, and loan subsidies and other tools play a role as well.

Taken together, promoting "attainable housing" is a more inclusive term that describes the challenges in the SECED region. Existing housing issues and the current market have made it difficult to promote new development. Consequently, there is a lack of attainable housing for those who want to live in southeast Colorado. To make southeast Colorado prosper, housing has to be broadly attainable.

With an "out of the box" approach, SECED is working collaboratively with Southern Colorado Economic Development District (SCEDD), the county and municipal governments, and local economic developers in the SECED region, to identify the problem and help to coordinate strategies to attack this problem. SCEDD's development of the upcoming Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) will also play a vital role in planning the next five years of effort following this initial project.

This project will be the mechanism through which housing development can be facilitated and a creative approach to stimulating development and encouraging growth in housing opportunities. SECED is eager to be a part of this innovative venture to address housing.