Building New Affordable Homes in Rural Colorado

Friday, November 13, 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Join Philanthropy Colorado's Rural Funders Learning Network for an opportunity to learn more about the key elements of this approach to advance a replicable model for affordable rental and home ownership in rural communities. This will be the kick-off meeting of an ongoing opportunity to be engaged in learning and investing in this work

Colorado faces an affordable housing crisis, which is particularly acute in rural areas. Developing affordable rural projects is often infeasible due to higher construction costs, low rents, inability to compete for capital, and lack of development capacity, from planning to property management. Project costs can be 40%+ higher than completed appraised values – driving up sales prices and rents. In addition, rural school districts struggle to attract or retain teachers as home prices exceed teachers’ purchasing power by magnitudes and/or there is a lack of quality, affordable housing available. This gap is evident across the entire workforce. Town employees, police, and emergency workers cannot afford to live where they work -- the “missing middle” of the housing market.

An approach will be piloted in southwest Colorado with public, private and philanthropic partners, including Telluride Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Colorado Housing Financing Authority, developers/homebuilders, and Economic & Planning Systems ("Coalition") to jump-start development of affordable rental and home ownership housing in rural communities. 

 The speakers will include: 

  • Paul Major, President and CEO, Telluride Foundation 
  • Dr. Ben Bynum, Portfolio Director of Program Related Investments, Colorado Health Foundation
  • Tony Lewis, Executive Director, Donnell-Kay Foundation
  • Rick Garcia, Executive Director, Department of Local Affairs