COLORADO SPRINGS — On Monday, City Council supported a measure in a work session, to give $40 million in housing bonds to an affordable apartment complex set to be built on the Northeast side of town. At Powers and Union, the 230-unit complex will have 1,2, and 3-bedroom suites.
"Average rents here in the city are increasing 6%, 7%, 8% year over year," said Community Planning Director Steve Posey. "We've seen some incredible rent growth in our community over the last 18 months, and this is an apartment project that is really going to help folks, working families in particular, be able to afford rent in that part of the city".
To qualify for the apartments, you'll have to earn 60% or less than the average median income in our area. The United States Census says that the average median income in Colorado Springs is $71, 957. Therefore, that means you'll have to make $43,174 or less per year.
"Our community needs housing desperately. For everybody," says Homeward Pikes Peak CEO Beth Roalstad. "For the minimum wage worker, for the college graduate, for the retiree, and for the professional who goes to work at one of our aerospace companies".
Roalstad is happy to see more affordable housing being brought to the Springs but has some concerns over how developers are determining what affordable actually means.
"I think it's necessary that we have this added to our portfolio of housing options, but I still think it's a [money] stretch," said Roalstad.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development defines "affordable" housing as rent that is 30% or less than your monthly wage.
Doing some math based on making $43,174 or less per year, would mean, at maximum, you could allocate $1,079.35 per month for your housing to be considered affordable.
That would make the rates for a 1 bedroom ($1,115 per month). 2 bedroom ($1,336 per month), or 3 bedroom ($1,539) in the complex unaffordable for a single-income household.
"I'm concerned that while this fills a gap in our housing portfolio for our community, it's still maybe a little bit more expensive than some households can bear," continued Roalstad.
The apartments, if approved, are set to be finished sometime in 2025.
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