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Housing Economic Impact Study
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Driving a Vibrant Economy:
Housing’s Role in Colorado’s Economic Success


Driving a Vibrant Economy: Housing’s Role in Colorado’s Economic Success, a report released by a coalition of housing and community development partners, reiterates the critical role new home construction plays in the overall health of the Denver metro region and the broader overall Colorado and U.S. economy. The report, which analyzed data from 2013, aims to provide a better understand the impacts of new home construction in Colorado and what type of housing is still needed.

Download: Driving a Vibrant Economy: Housing’s Role in Colorado’s Economic Success

Report Themes 

Themes that will be discussed in the report include:

1.       Is Colorado’s current housing market healthy and sustainable – how does the Denver region and greater Colorado compare to other housing markets around the country, and what are the local trends that will impact Colorado over the next several years.  With more and more people choosing to make Colorado their home, will this trend create more housing opportunity for everyone, or will the market become more challenging. 

2.       All types of housing have a tremendous immediate and long-term impact – thousands of jobs supported, millions in income generated, and reinvestment to create thriving local economies. Whether it is market-rate housing or an affordable product, data confirms that housing development and rehabilitation is good ROI. 

In 2013, the year of analysis of this study:

·         The overall economic impact of the home building analyzed in this report was $5.15 billion, 1.7% of the entire gross state product of Colorado. 

·         New home building and rehabilitation analyzed in this report created 81,375 full-time equivalent jobs, more than 2.9% of the entire Colorado labor force, and

·         New home construction and rehabilitation analyzed in this report resulted in new revenues to state and local governments totaling $1.29 billion.  

3.       All types of housing are needed – communities must provide a diversity of housing products to meet all their needs.  Is there an imbalance and what are the key findings that reflect shortages in certain housing types, and what strategies can communities use to encourage a greater mix of housing options.Households that are most vulnerable, those earning $20,000 a year or less, have felt the greatest negative impact of rising housing costs.  According to the findings in the study, there is a shortfall of over 100,000 homes priced at an affordable level for these households, representing over 16% of the entire rental stock in Colorado. It is a gap that, at current rates of affordable rental housing construction of 823 homes per year, will take over 100 years to eliminate.

4.       Why affordable housing is a critical component to healthy, stable communities – what are the market variables that are driving up the demand, and how affordable housing on its own is an economic stimulator. 

The one year combined state and local economic impact of building 823 rent-subsidized multifamily homes in Colorado include:

·         $113.1 million in local income

·         $20.9 million in taxes and other revenues for all local governments, and

·         1,657 full-time equivalent jobs 

5.       The report includes a supplemental study that look at the fiscal impact that the decline of affordable housing is having on local governments that are home to an increasing number of housing-challenged households. The study specifically looks at Adams County, but it can be inferred that other counties in the state face similar pressures.

·         In Adams County, housing cost-burdened households are responsible for $170 million in crowded out spending, translating to $6 million in lost revenue impact to municipalities. Statewide, these households are responsible for $2 billion in crowded out spending. Housing-challenged households have a dampening economic effect on sales tax revenues, the major source of general funds revenues for municipalities.


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