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Denver Passes Pivotal Measure to Expand Housing Affordability

June 7, 2022- City Council yesterday voted to approve the historic “Expanding Housing Affordability” policy, a joint effort of Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s Department of Community Planning and Development and Department of Housing Stability in collaboration with City Council, residents, businesses, housing developers and others, to increase access to affordable housing across Denver. The city engaged with partners and the broader community for over a year to develop the new policy, which will take effect in Denver starting July 1. Development applications received by June 30 may continue under current rules. 

Under the new ordinance, all new residential developments of 10 or more units must designate 8% to 12% of the units as affordable for a period of 99 years, regardless of whether the units are for rent or for sale. The exact percentage will vary based on the level of affordability offered, but in all scenarios, these homes would need to be affordable for households making less than the area median income (AMI). In 2022, the AMI for a two-person household in Denver (e.g., two adults or one adult, one child) is approximately $94,000.  

In higher-cost areas of the city, such as downtown and Cherry Creek, developers would need to designate 10% to 15% of new units as affordable. The ordinance also includes zoning and financial incentives to help offset the cost of building affordable units and to increase the overall supply of housing in Denver. 

As part of the Expanding Housing Affordability ordinance, the city will also increase the funding used to build and preserve affordable housing for people with lower incomes. The city’s linkage fee, implemented in 2017 to support Denver’s first dedicated Affordable Housing Fund, will now gradually increase over the next four years to bring Denver more in line with other cities nationally. Development projects that include affordable housing are exempt from the fee. 

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CREA Energy Codes & Updates at the Capital

Amendment Number

Current Bill Descriptions as of May 2022

L.046


Energy Code Advisory Board - (placeholder) amendment to create the advisory board that will be expanded through a Strike Below in the Senate

L. 047

Timeline for Counties adopting building codes, will keep current law until 2023, at 2023 local govts will adopt 2021 iecc WHEN they adopt a code and after 2026 they will adopt a model low carbon code

L. 048

Timeline for municipalities adopting building codes, will keep current law until 2023, at 2023 local govts will adopt 2021 iecc WHEN they adopt a code and after 2026 they will adopt a model low carbon code

L.049

Timeline for when the State Architect adopts new codes for state buildings. On or before Jan 1, 2025 they will adopt the equivalent or better of IECC 2021. Jan 1, 2030 they adopt model low carbon codes.

L. 050

Timeline for when the Division of Housing adopts new codes for state buildings. On or before Jan 1, 2025 they will adopt the equivalent or better of IECC 2021. Jan 1, 2030 they adopt model low carbon codes.

L. 051

Timeline for when the Division of Fire Prevention and control adopts new codes for state buildings. On or before Jan 1, 2025 they will adopt the equivalent or better of IECC 2021. Jan 1, 2030 they adopt model low carbon codes.

L.013

Adds an electric ready definition and cleans up citations.

L.014

Adds clarifying language about mixed fuel use buildings over 10,000 sq ft meeting requirements via pre-wiring. 

L.015

Directs the energy office to work with additional stakeholders to develop codes, allows local governments to use grant dollars for grant writing assistance and increases funding for local governments from $1M to $2M

L.016

Clarifies that replacing an appliance with a like appliance does not trigger prewire requirements

L.017

Adds definition of Solar Ready and aligns definitions with HB 1218

L.019

Allows grant dollars to be used for non-electric innovative technologies.

L. 045

Ensures there is no double counting for renewable energy credits (RECs) in this process and is consistent with other renewable energy statutes . 

Adds CREA net metering language.

Aligns the number of units in dwellings with codes for EV charging / also aligns this with HB-1218.

L.026

Directs CEO to work with stakeholders to minimize costs associated with meeting electric and solar ready code requirements and ensure conversion to high efficiency buildings can happen at lowest cost possible.

Defines “substantial cost differential” as a cost greater than 1% of mechanical, electrical and plumbing work (MEP) and provides a waiver process for pre-wiring if it exceeds substantial cost differential.

L.010

Ensures code upgrades under this bill align with ADA code changes

L.012

Clean up

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