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2018 Housing Survey Results

Affordable Housing Ranks as #1 Issue on Citywide Survey

In 2017, All In Denver commissioned a survey of Denver voters that showed affordable housing is a top-of-mind concern, and that voters were willing to step up with more local funding to address the challenge. 

One year later, All In Denver’s updated housing survey shows even more resolve, and a call to action.

The survey results show that voters rank affordable housing as the top local issue that they want to see addressed by Mayor Hancock and Denver City Council:

  • 35% identified affordable housing as their number one issue, a 5% increase from last year’s survey.

  • Education, which ranked at the top of the list in the 2017 survey, ranked second at 31%, followed by homelessness at 24% and the cost of living at 21%.  

  • 96% agreed that homelessness is a serious problem in Denver.

  • 94% agreed the lack of affordability in Denver home purchase and rents is a serious problem.

  • 66% agreed that Denver's elected officials are not taking enough action to make housing more affordable and address homelessness.

The survey also gauged voter support for potential new funding to support strategic investments in affordable housing:

  • 68% supported a proposal that would allow the City & County of Denver to issue a $116 million housing bond backed by a property tax increase of one-half mill (about $16 per year increase for the owner of a median-priced home in Denver)

  • 64% supported an increase of one full mill ($32 increase per year) for a $232 million housing bond.  

  • Nearly three-out-of-four (73 percent) of survey respondents supported a proposal to increase Denver’s local sales tax by one-tenth of a percent (or one penny on $10 purchase) to finance a housing bond of approximately $200 million. 

The research project was sponsored by All In Denver, Close to Home, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Del Norte Community Development Corporation, Denver Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, Gorman & Company, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, and the Urban Land Conservancy.  The poll was conducted by Denver research firm Strategies 360 between February 15-18, with live phone interviews of 404 likely November 2018 voters in the City & County of Denver.  Topline results have a margin of error of  ±4.9 percent.

“The results of this poll again shine a spotlight on Denverites’ strong desire to prioritize affordable housing because it impacts everyone in our fast-growing city,” said Brad Segal, co-founder of All In Denver and a community development practitioner. “Denver’s housing market is increasingly out of reach for even moderate-income families, which threatens our city’s economic and cultural vitality.  For Denver to remain a community of opportunity—where our residents can find quality, affordable homes with access to jobs, neighborhood amenities and resources—we have to make greater investments in housing.  And this survey indicates that Denver voters are supportive of a bolder approach than our current strategies.” 
“We have no shortage of ideas on how to create more home affordability in Denver,” added Andrew Romero, an All In Denver board member and affordable housing finance professional.  “Denver’s new 5-Year Housing Plan features strategies for transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness, community land trusts, accessory dwelling units to stabilize neighborhoods, down payment assistance to increase home ownership, and land acquisition.  We know that zoning and land use policy also can make an impact.  But we currently lack the financial resources to implement our strategies.  The results of this survey clearly show that Denver voters see this as a citywide challenge that needs more energy, focus and funding.”


“Denver is one of the highest-cost cities in the U.S., which has broad impacts on our local economy, community health, neighborhood stability, and even our schools,” said Kimball Crangle, a co-founder of All In Denver and Colorado Market President for Gorman & Company, a national affordable housing and mixed-use developer.  “Voters in similarly sized cities experiencing rapid growth—including Austin, Seattle and Portland—have approved more local funding to increase the availability of affordable homes.  Now is the time for Denver to step up with bolder, more strategic investments.”


Some Facts About Denver's Affordable Housing Challenges

According to data from the City & County of Denver Office of Economic Development

  1. 68,000 renter households in Denver across all income ranges pay more than 30 percent of their income toward monthly housing costs. 

  2. Between 2012 and 2016, prices rose 43% for single-family detached homes, and 96% for attached townhomes and condominiums. 

  3. Denver has a shortage of approximately 26,000 homes that are affordable for the lowest earners, which puts them at risk of homelessness—especially those living on fixed incomes such as seniors and people on disability. 

  4. More than 40% of those experiencing homelessness in Denver are working but cannot afford a place to live. 

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