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Legislative Year: 2021 Change
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Bill Detail: HB21-1271

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Title Department Of Local Affairs Innovative Affordable Housing Strategies
Status Governor Signed (06/27/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • Local Government
House Sponsors J. McCluskie (D)
I. Jodeh (D)
Senate Sponsors J. Gonzales (D)
House Committee Transportation and Local Government
Senate Committee Local Government
Date Introduced 04/12/2021
Summary

The bill creates 3 different programs in the department of local

affairs (DOLA) for the purpose of offering grant money and other forms
of state assistance to local governments to promote innovative solutions
to the development of affordable housing across the state.
Local government affordable housing development incentives
grant program (housing development incentives grant program). This
program will provide grants to local governments that adopt not less than
3 policy and regulatory tools from among a menu of options that create
incentives to promote the development of affordable housing. A local
government that adopts such tools is eligible for a grant from the housing
development incentives grant program as an incentive to develop one or
more affordable housing developments in their community that are
liveable, vibrant, and driven by community benefits. The division of local
government (DLG) within DOLA administers the housing development
incentives grant program.
The bill enumerates items included in the menu of policy and
regulatory tools.
Local government planning grant program. This program will
provide grants to local governments that lack one or more of the policy
and regulatory tools that provide incentives to promote the development
of affordable housing that forms the basis for a grant under the housing
development incentives grant program and that could benefit from
additional funding to be able to create and make use of these policy and
regulatory tools. Money under the planning grant program will be
available to a local government to enable the government to retain a
consultant or a related professional service to assess the housing needs of
its community or to make changes to its policies, programs, development
review processes, land use codes, and related rules to become an eligible
recipient of a grant under the housing development incentives grant
program. The planning grant program will be administered by the DLG.
As part of its administration of the planning grant program, the DLG will
provide assistance to local governments on best land use practices and
tools and is required to update and publish model county and municipal
land use codes for the benefit of local governments across the state.
The affordable housing guided toolkit and local officials guide
program (housing toolkit program). This program creates the housing
toolkit program within the division of housing (DOH) within DOLA. The
purpose of the housing toolkit program is to award funding to qualified
counties and municipalities selected in a competitive process who commit
to the adoption of best land use practices with demonstrated success in the
development of affordable housing. Under the housing toolkit program,
technical assistance will be provided by consultants and related
professionals to local governments who demonstrate an understanding of
the housing needs of their communities, take steps to engage their entire
communities in this process, make changes to their land use codes and
related processes that provide incentives and reduce barriers to the
development of affordable housing, obtain and support viable sites in
their communities for the development of affordable housing, and attract
developers committed to making such investments in their communities.
The DOH is to administer the housing toolkit program.
In evaluating applications for grants from the housing development
incentives grant program, the bill requires the DLG to prioritize proposals
submitted by local governments based on factors specified in the bill.
On or before September 1, 2021, the bill requires the executive
director of DOLA or the executive director's designee to adopt policies,
procedures, and guidelines for the 3 different state assistance programs
that include, without limitation:
  • Procedures and timelines by which an eligible recipient
may apply for a grant;
  • Criteria for determining the amount of grant awards;
  • Performance criteria for grant recipients' projects; and
  • Reporting requirements for grant recipients.
On the effective date of the bill, or as soon as practicable
thereafter, the state treasurer is required to transfer $9,300,000 from the
general fund to the Colorado heritage communities fund for the creation,
implementation, and administration by the DLG of the housing
development incentives grant programs.
On the effective date of the bill, or as soon as practicable
thereafter, the state treasurer is required to transfer $2,100,000 from the
general fund to the Colorado heritage communities fund for the creation,
implementation, and administration by the DLG of the planning grant
program.
On the effective date of the bill, or as soon as practicable
thereafter, the state treasurer is required to transfer $1,600,000 from the
general fund to the housing development grant fund for the creation,
implementation, and administration by the DOH of the housing toolkit
program.
All costs incurred in administering any of the 3 programs created
under the bill must be paid out of the money transferred under the bill. All
money transferred under the bill for the 3 state programs must be
expended over the subsequent 3 state fiscal years.
On or before November 1 of each year, the executive director of
DOLA or the director's designee is required to publish a report
summarizing the use of all assistance that was awarded from the 3
different programs created under the bill in the preceding fiscal year. The
bill specifies additional required contents of the reports. The reports must
be shared with the general assembly and posted on DOLA's website.
The bill updates and repeals obsolete statutory provisions
concerning the office of smart growth (OSG) within DOLA and the
Colorado heritage communities fund.
The bill authorizes the OSG, as money becomes available, to
provide grants or other forms of assistance to counties and municipalities
to address critical planning issues and specifies examples of the forms of
assistance that may be provided by the office. The OSG is required to
create guidelines to specify the activities on the part of local governments
that will qualify for grant funding or other forms of assistance provided
under the bill. The OSG is permitted to use available money to administer
the Colorado heritage grant program.

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