Sixteen organizations and municipalities have been selected to receive $25.3 million under the Proposition 123 Land Banking Program in Colorado.

md3d/Adobe Stock
md3d/Adobe Stock

Passed by voters in November 2022, the proposition established the State Affordable Housing Fund to advance the development and preservation of affordable housing in the state. Part of this effort, the Land Banking Program provides grants to local and tribal governments and forgivable loans to nonprofits with a demonstrated history to acquire and preserve land for affordable housing.

The move comes as availability of land is considered one of the most significant barriers to affordable housing development, according to state officials.

“We need more housing now, and these funds will support a critical first step to create those housing opportunities for Coloradans around the state,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “The recipients announced today will help create 1,380 housing units, helping Coloradans live where they want to live—close to their jobs, schools, the places they love.”

The recipients will be required to complete statutory milestones over the coming years, including achieving proper zoning, finalizing development plans, and securing funding and permits.

The awardees are:· Archway Investment Corp.—Gates Family Housing in Denver, $2 million;

· Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity—Affordable Homeownership in Jefferson County, $50,000;

· Chaffee Housing Authority—Alpine West in Buena Vista, $1.32 million;

· City of Grand Junction—Salt Flats in Grand Junction, $2.2 million;

· City of Salida—Salida Eastside Senior Living Apartments in Salida, $750,000;

· Denver Cultural Property Trust—Five Points Historic Cultural District Affordable Homes in Denver, $1.97 million;

· Elevation Community Land Trust—Rural Southern CO Homeownership Portfolio in Las Animas County, $750,000;

· Habitat for Humanity of Grand County—Habitat Morris Project in Granby, $1.6 million;

· Housing Authority of the City of Aurora—Walden 35 Phase II in Aurora, $1.45 million;

· Housing Catalyst—Village on Eastbrook in Fort Collins, $1.6 million;

· Huerfano County Economic Development—Northlands Subdivision of the Huajatolla Hills in Walsenburg, $225,000;

· Langston Hughes Affordable Housing—Aurora Family Apartments in Aurora, $5 million;

· SAFER Colorado in Centennial, $700,000;

· Town of Frisco—101 West Main Street in Frisco, $5 million;

· Town of Rangely—Sagewood West Affordable Housing in Rangely, $240,000; and

· We Fortify—Dignified Housing Village for At-Risk Young Adults in Colorado Springs, $470,000.

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) received 113 letters of intent representing more than $255 million in funding requests. A total of 26 projects were invited to submit applications for the first round of Land Banking funds.

Projects were evaluated by the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade and CHFA based on priorities outlined in the statute, including high-density housing, mixed-income housing, and environmental sustainability. The selection process also considered accessibility to transit and walkable access to community services, readiness to proceed, financial feasibility, geographic distribution, and total number of units proposed, all priorities outlined by the governor’s Executive Order to address Colorado’s housing supply.

“CHFA is honored to serve as program administrator for the Proposition 123 Affordable Housing Financing Fund, including the Land Banking program,” said Cris White, executive director and CEO of CHFA. “High demand for the Land Banking funds underscores the great need for affordable housing in communities across the state. These 16 awardees represent a geographically diverse mix of nonprofits and local governments working hard to produce more affordable housing for Coloradans.”