Our mission is to be the voice and action entity for attainable/workforce housing in El Paso County, Colorado, unifying residents and organizations who want to advocate, increase, and or maintain the supply of affordable units.
Our role is to:
- Develop partnerships to more effectively address affordable housing issues.
- Leverage existing resources and cultivate new ones.
- Act as a unifier to enable stakeholders to consider more than individual interests.
- Take a wholistic approach to housing affordability; economic, health and racial equity issues.
Affordable housing (rental and ownership) has a direct impact on the social, economic and environmental health of our community.
Socially, affordable housing has an undeserved stigma. Many people think affordable housing refers to large public housing projects from the 1950s and 1960s. In reality, affordable housing in El Paso County, Colorado must take many forms, integrating within neighborhoods to accommodate diverse needs and support each individual’s well-being.
Economically, the more a household has to spend on housing the less money they have to spend on other products and services that contribute to their quality of life and support the entire community.
Housing costs typically take precedence over other staples such as food, transportation and medical care. These factors lead to less community prosperity and individual wellness and increase trauma. Ultimately, this downward spiral leads to less stable housing conditions, workforce, families and neighborhoods.
From an environmental perspective, a lack of affordable housing options pushes our community members to housing further from where they work. This creates congestion on our roads and increased pollution, which damages the environment that El Paso County cherishes.
Especially in this pandemic era, El Paso County must intentionally pursue a healthier community for all its residents through policies to ensure that people from all walks of life can find an affordable, quality place to live.
Of the 260,851 households in El Paso County
HOUSEHOLDS ARE EXTREMELY-LOW INCOME EARNING LESS THAN $25,100
34,347 OF THESE HOUSEHOLDS (85%) ARE COST-BURDENED
25,879 HOUSEHOLDS (64%) ARE PAYING MORE THAN HALF OF THEIR INCOME ON HOUSING
HOUSEHOLDS ARE Very-LOW INCOME EARNING BETWEEN $25,100 AND $46,620
25,322 OF THESE HOUSEHOLDS (56%) ARE COST-BURDENED
6,131 HOUSEHOLDS (13%) ARE PAYING MORE THAN HALF OF THEIR INCOME ON HOUSING
Analysis prepared by the City of Colorado Springs Community Development Division based on U.S. Census Bureau, 2018 ACS 1-Year PUMS (click here for additional information)
What Can You Do?
- Have conversations with friends, colleagues and neighbors to learn about their housing challenges.
- Educate your circles of influence.
- Effect policy & regulatory decisions at the local, county and state levels.
- Look for opportunities to invest in community impact funds to help increase affordable housing units.
- Advocate for legislation that can make a difference.
- Utilize tax benefits through 1031 exchanges, donation of land, etc.
- Approach owners of vacant land with a vision for using the land for affordable housing.
- Plan and/or participate in neighborhood meetings to further educate the community about our affordable housing crisis.
- Be aware of public agencies, school districts, hospitals, universities, and religious organizations that may have surplus property and may be persuated to joint venture with for-profit or nonprofit developers to create affordable housing units.
- Learn about the use of land trusts and advocate for them as appropriate.