COLORADO SPRINGS — The City of Colorado Springs unveiled an affordable housing plan Tuesday.
The “HomeCOS, Housing Our Future" plan is designed to address affordable and attainable housing issues in the city. Back in 2018, Mayor Suthers challenged the community to build, preserve and create opportunities to purchase one thousand units of affordable housing each year for the next five years.
"He wanted to come up with a goal that would increase production of affordable housing here in our community, at a pace that would match the growth of this community," said City of Colorado Springs Community Development Division Manager Steve Posey.
The “HomeCOS, Housing Our Future” is the city’s comprehensive affordable and attainable housing plan to support that goal. The city's Community Development Division developed the plan with community engagement. The division received over 3,600 survey responses from every ZIP code in the city. Community Development staff also did extensive research on housing conditions locally and across the state.
The plan includes the following core objectives:
1. Reduce homelessness through a housing-first approach
2. Increase the supply of affordable rentals
3. Increase homeownership opportunities
4. Housing for the aging & disabled population
5. Innovative design & development opportunities
6. Alternative financing
The Greenway Flats has been affordable housing in Colorado Springs for a year. It's run by the Springs Rescue Mission and offers a permanent living space for the homeless. Residents are required to respect the rules on the property and follow the screening process.
Vincent Motley has lived at Greenway Flats for over a year now. He says without this affordable housing option, he would be living in a shelter.
"It gives us something to aspire too," said Motley.
Posey says the city is on track to meet their goal. They've got 800 units of multi-family housing that is breaking ground this year, but won't be move in ready.
"These projects actually take 14-16 months to actually develop," said Posey. "The units that are breaking ground this year will come online and be available to people to lease up next year."
He says the affordable units will remain affordable for at least 20 years. The city also has a permanent housing project for homeless veterans that will be finished this year.
"That's another 48 units of whats called supportive permanent housing. The rent for that housing will be between $400 and $500 a month for an individual," said Posey. "We also got more rental projects for working families. These are two and three bedroom units that the rent will not go past $1,000 a month."