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City of Colorado Springs to focus on affordable housing in 2018

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Emerald Towers Apartments in Colorado Springs. Emerald Towers Apartments in Colorado Springs.

After another year of rising rents and rising home prices in Colorado Springs, the city said it's focused on increasing access to affordable housing in 2018.

When dozens of people needed to find new homes after being told to leave the Emerald Towers complex, the city council said the problem, which impacted seniors, hit home.

"It makes affordable housing become less of this ethereal type of topic, it becomes real and personal and individual," commented Jill Gaebler, president pro-tem for the city council.

Shortly after that, the city council helped find a solution to house those displaced.

"Everyone is saying that affordable housing is the single most (prioritized) need in this community right now," stated Steve Posey, HUD director for Colorado Springs. 

In 2018, if expected funds arrive, the city hopes to build or renovate almost 800 affordable housing units. 

"What we are trying to do is of course encourage the development of more affordable housing in the city," said Posey. 

However, this is just one step. The city's community development division estimates that 30,000 additional units will be needed over the next decade. The city said it's looking to create partnerships to help provide more affordable units.

"It's all about partnerships. Nobody does anything alone in this community anymore," said Gaebler. 

"We've been talking with housing providers, we've been talking to community residents, we've been talking with staff," Posey said.

And, according to city staff, if one more person is given the opportunity to live better, it helps to better everyone. 

"We want them to succeed. It benefits our whole community and raises all boats when everybody is housed and working," she finished. 

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