Adam Perry, from left; Mikayla Sanford and Sidney Perry-Joyce are living in a rented home again after homeowners association fees on the home the family had purchased through Boulder's Permanently Affordable Housing Program became too expensive. Adam Perry sold the home. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

With housing costs remaining high, Boulder looks for ways to provide affordable homes

Several years ago, as Janice Zelazo began to formalize her will, she faced a question.

What would become of the home she bought in 1979? And how could she guarantee that it wouldn’t be purchased, flipped and sold to the highest bidder?

The 77-year-old longtime Boulder resident envisioned a new path, one where those without children to inherit their property — like Zelazo — could find a way to do something meaningful with their homes.

Zelazo started contacting city officials. And she just kept calling.

“It started slowly as an idea about how (to) preserve my house and the piece of property that it’s on,” Zelazo said.

Her efforts led to the 2017 adoption of Boulder’s Housing Legacy Program, administered through the city’s Housing and Human Services department.

The Housing Legacy Program allows Boulder homeowners to donate their homes to the city’s permanently affordable homes program, a measure sorely needed in a city where the Zillow Home Index reports that the “typical” home value in May 2022 was $1.1 million. This value is seasonally adjusted and only includes the middle price tier of homes, the index states.

As housing costs continue to soar, this program is just one of the many ways Boulder is working to bolster its affordable housing stock, which has seen considerable growth despite the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2020 and 2021, for example, Boulder added 494 homes to its affordable housing stock, more than double its previous average of 126 homes a year since 2000, according to city data.

Further, Boulder Housing Partners, the city’s housing authority, converted an additional 110 rentals into permanently affordable units, bringing the number added since January 2020 to 604.

Still, while the city has seen success in adding affordable housing stock, that doesn’t mean the endeavor is without challenges. It can be timely and costly, and projects can face regulatory constraints and zoning restrictions.

Novak Djokovic beats Nick Kyrgios for 7th Wimbledon title Previous post Novak Djokovic beats Nick Kyrgios for 7th Wimbledon title
Tour de France: Jungels wins stage nine, Pogacar retains yellow jersey Next post Tour de France: Jungels wins stage nine, Pogacar retains yellow jersey