The Boulder City Council adopted several changes to its inclusionary housing code in advance of a more in-depth conversation around affordable housing goals later this year. It was noted that inclusionary zoning policy was designed to help people become property owners.
However, since 2008 there has been increasing demand for rental units (and this phenomenon is true in other less-expensive cities as well) but Colorado statute prohibits rental control. All of these factors together are requiring the City to rethink its program and evaluate its objectives.
The changes just adopted are minor; they will give builders more flexibility in complying and clarifying differences between owner-occupied, for-sale homes and projects designed for rental use. For example, builders who are removing existing structures and building new ones will now have three years instead of one to fulfill their affordable housing requirements.
One the changes approved adds an “intent” statement instructing builders that the City would like affordable housing to be distributed throughout new developments and not be easily distinguishable from the market-rate housing. The City Council is scheduled to hold a study session on broader affordable housing strategy questions next month.