Which suburbs might comply with Denver’s housing contract?

A warehouse is located at 901 Navajo St., but the Denver Housing Authority is looking to convert it into a restricted-income residential complex. (BusinessDen file)

In 2021, Governor Jared Polis signed a bill that would allow communities to call for new housing projects to accommodate restricted-income units.

Denver took action quickly and tabled a proposal in October that could be considered by the city council in the spring.

But millions of people who live in the area don’t live within the Denver city limits, which means the meaning of the new law could depend on how many smaller communities use it.

BusinessDen asked a number of neighboring cities whether they were planning to do this:


Aurora adopted a “housing strategy” in December 2020 and started implementing it in January 2021, said city spokesman Michael Brannen. But the city is now conducting a feasibility study to decide whether to use the new law.

“The strategy recommended several guidelines and tools, including a residential trust fund, density premiums and other affordable housing incentives,” said Brannen. “In support of the strategy and in response to HB21-1117 … the City of Aurora has submitted and received a planning grant to investigate whether and under what circumstances an affordability requirement would be appropriate or not.”


The city is “just beginning” with its limited-income housing needs, said spokeswoman Kelli Narde. Littleton has hired a consultant to guide the city on its new developments, and the company’s research will be made available earlier this year.


Lakewood City Council has no ordinances related to state law, according to spokeswoman Stacie Oulton.

“The city works regularly with Metro West Housing Solutions to encourage the creation of accessible housing,” said Oulton. “The current Lakewood town code also creates an incentive for accessible housing by having a dedicated pool for granting building permits for affordable units under the city’s growth restrictions. In addition, the city is continuously reviewing its processes to determine how the development of accessible housing can best be supported. “


“While the city is working diligently to offer residents a variety of affordable and accessible housing for workers as part of our normal planning process, there are no short-term plans to require developers to do this,” said spokesman Andy Le.


“The city of Centennial is currently conducting a housing study to examine housing costs and availability in the city,” said spokeswoman Allison Wittern. “The intention is to improve understanding of the range of housing issues in Centennial, to define different housing needs and to identify priorities to inform future policy. This study is expected to be completed in 2022. “

More information will be updated on the city’s website, she said.


“The City of Arvada has completed an affordable housing needs assessment in the community and is working on the creation of an affordable housing toolkit that includes tools / strategies to incentivize affordable housing development in Arvada,” said spokeswoman Allison Trembly .


There are currently no plans in Brighton to require developers to provide affordable housing, said spokeswoman Kristen Chernosky.


Golden hired an affordable housing manager two months ago and the city is now considering strategies to implement some type of restricted income housing, spokeswoman Emily Gedeon said, although it is not yet clear whether it will be necessary. She said the city also wants to work with organizations to create more homes that are cheaper than market prices.


City council members have said they are “interested” in creating an income-restricted housing need, but Thornton has no specific plans at the moment.

“We’re looking for examples, but nothing is imminent right now,” said spokesman Todd Barnes.

Other cities in the Denver area consider income-restricted housing requirements

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