July 13, 2021

Congressman Joe Neguse Launches Housing Our Communities Plan to Expand Affordable Housing Opportunities in Colorado and Across the Country

Neguse sets date for August listening session to hear from impacted Coloradans on the affordable housing crisis

Washington D.C.— Following a district-wide tour where the affordable housing crisis was a frequent topic of discussion, Congressman Neguse is launching the Housing Our Communities Plan to preserve the federal government’s commitment to affordable housing. The legislative package will cut red tape and expand opportunities and availability of affordable housing units in Colorado and across the nation. Congressman Neguse also plans to hold a listening session in August on the affordable housing crisis to hear from impacted Coloradans. The event will model Neguse’s first-annual Wildfire Summit held in February, where over 800 Coloradans shared their stories and experiences from the record-setting wildfire season. 

“Across the front range and northern Colorado, as our communities expand and grow, families are being priced out of the communities they love and forced to live farther away from where they work. In our mountain towns the affordable housing stock is limited, locals are being displaced and workers can’t find affordable rental properties. We are at an inflection point for affordable housing, and it’s critical that we find creative solutions that meet this moment,” said Congressman Joe Neguse, who serves as Vice Chair for Housing and Transportation on the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. “After touring the district in May and meeting with countless community members who voiced their concerns on this issue, we’re unveiling the Housing Our Communities Plan to ensure fair, equitable policies on affordable housing contracts. This is a package of bills that will cut red tape and preserve America’s commitment to providing affordable housing. For communities, for families, for workers, for Colorado, we must find creative solutions to address these challenges, and the Housing Our Communities plan is the first step.” 

“Housing is an inseparable part of a healthy and growing community, and too many of our essential community members are being priced out of Boulder,” said Jeremy Durham, Executive Director of Boulder Housing Partners. “In one of our newest affordable apartment developments, we had six interested parties for every home we had available. We applaud this legislation introduced by Representative Neguse. These bills simplify and eliminate unnecessary regulations and will allow us to both preserve and increase affordable housing in our community.”  

Today, Congressman Neguse will host U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge in Boulder for an affordable housing tour and roundtable to share Colorado’s priorities for addressing the affordable housing crisis with the Biden-Harris Administration. 

The Affordable HOUSE Act removes the current rule that prohibits property acquisition for affordable housing use in the first 10 years of the property’s ownership. This policy fix is crucial to increase affordable housing availability and preserve properties in need of rehabilitation and affordability regardless of when they were placed in service. 

The Save Affordable Housing Act protects the 30-year affordability commitment of housing financed by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). Currently, Housing Credit properties are subject to a minimum 30-year affordability period. As the law currently stands, owners are permitted to pursue a Qualified Contract, which most often results in the ability for properties to convert to market rate after just 15 years. The Save Affordable Housing Act would prevent the premature loss of affordable housing and ensure that Housing Credit properties remain affordable for at least 30 years, as Congress intended, thereby fulfilling the program’s commitment to serve low-income Americans. The legislation is cosponsored by Representative Don Beyer.