Affordable Housing Spreads to Wealthier COS Areas Due to HUD Fair Requirements

Over the past 5 years, the City of Colorado Springs has intentionally placed taxpayer-funded affordable housing in wealthier neighborhoods. Why do you think they are doing it? Let’s follow the money.

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rules

Congress enacted the Fair Housing Act in 1968, tasking the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reduce housing discrimination by federal departments and agencies. A provision of the Fair Housing Act called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), is a rule requiring federal departments and agencies to affirmatively work towards reducing housing discrimination.

The push to build taxpayer-subsidized housing in wealthier neighborhoods called, “opportunity zones”, is part of the AFFH rules instituted by the Obama Administration in 2015.  Obama was a community organizer and his modification of AFFH rules reflects his political desire to reorganize or engineer neighborhoods into utopias of diverse populations.

Before 2015, the federal government was required to work affirmatively towards reducing housing discrimination through federal departments and agencies. That year, President Obama modified the AFFH rule by adding a new requirement that cities and towns receiving federal money for housing were required to also work affirmatively towards reducing housing discrimination in certain areas and neighborhoods.

Additionally, the AFFH rule under Obama requires local governments receiving Community Development Block Grants (CBDG) and other HUD taxpayer-funded grants to submit Fair Housing Plans. Colorado Springs and El Paso County both accept CBDG and other grants from the HUD. AFFH rules require HUD grant program participants to, “proactively take meaningful actions to overcome patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, eliminate disparities in opportunities, and foster inclusive communities free from discrimination”.

President Donald Trump repealed the AFFH rule in July 2020. Then, in 2023, the Biden administration reinstated the AFFH rule.

COS Affordable Housing Trends since the AFFH Rules

Back in 2017 and 2018, The City of Colorado Springs knew that if they could get taxpayer-subsidized housing in the Broadmoor area, they could get it anywhere in the city. The Broadmoor Bluffs project was met with strong opposition, but it ended up being built.

The next project was The Atrium at Austin Bluffs and Templeton Gap. The City of Colorado Springs sold taxpayer-owned land to Greccio Housing for $1 to make that project a reality. It met opposition, too, but was built.

Pine Creek’s Royal Pine Apartments Is Next Target?

Upper-middle-class Pine Creek residents were told an adjacent lot at Royal Pine Drive and Union Boulevard would be used for a variety of commercial properties. That’s no longer the case, though. They’re getting something much different!

The Colorado Springs Planning Commission approved a massive 4-story, 232-unit taxpayer-subsidized “affordable” apartment development to be built by developer DBG Properties. Understandably DBG Properties is really excited about the opportunity to build in the Pine Creek neighborhood. The neighbors are appealing the Planning Commission’s decision to the Colorado Springs City Council during a special meeting on February 26th.

We asked City of Colorado Springs Chief Housing Officer Steve Posey about the financials and tax implications of the Royal Pine project. DBG Properties was awarded the majority of the city’s private activity bonds for the year – $40 million. Here is Posey’s reply to our inquiry:

“Thank you for reaching out with questions about incentives and property taxes being considered for the Royal Pines apartments. The project is still in an early phase of pre-development, particularly with regards to financing, so we do not have a final cost per unit at this time.

Generally, all affordable multi-family projects are eligible for a partial rebate of development fees through the city’s affordable multi-family rebate program. If the Colorado Springs Housing Authority becomes a partner in the deal, projects can also be exempt from property taxes per State of Colorado statute. Finally, affordable multi-family projects are also eligible for a refund of city sales tax paid on building materials purchased in the city”.

According to Posey, DBG Properties won’t have to pay sales taxes for building materials. If they partner up with the Colorado Springs Housing Authority, they’ll be free from paying property taxes.

They won’t pay taxes to the local schools, won’t pay for fire protection, and won’t pay for police protection. Sounds like a sweet deal for the developer! Meanwhile, all the neighbors get out of it is the opportunity to try to lift others out of poverty and have the government decide that “diversity” is in their best interest.

The government shouldn’t have the right to tell us where we live based on anything – our personal life experiences, financial status, geographic and socioeconomic background, cultural knowledge, educational background, work experience, language abilities, physical abilities, philosophical and spiritual perspectives, age, race, ethnicity, and gender. We can choose where we want to live for ourselves – based upon our own initiative. People tend to live around people like them. We voluntarily choose where to live and government shouldn’t disrupt that to play politics.

We asked Posey about who will be allowed to live in the Royal Pines apartments and whether illegal immigrants are and will be allowed to occupy affordable housing in Colorado Springs. Posey passed along this link and a response:

“I do not have info on the immigration status of occupants of affordable housing projects in Colorado Springs. To my knowledge, that info is prohibited from being collected”.

Back in 2021, Colorado was the first state to allow illegal immigrants to apply for public housing. No wonder they are flocking to the state in massive numbers.

Pine Creek residents have expressed concerns about the impact of the 232-unit development. They are concerned their children will be in increasingly crowded schools. In the case of wildfires, escaping from the neighborhood will be difficult due to limited street entrances and exits.  Residents are puzzled about statements from Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade and his staff about the supposed housing shortage in Colorado Springs.

There are currently over 5,400 apartment vacancies. Over 12,000 apartments are currently under construction, so it’s reasonable to assume we’re heading toward an over-supply. When supply spikes, rents will necessarily decrease.

It may seem that Broadmoor Bluffs, the Atrium at Austin Bluffs, and the Royal Pines Apartments have happened in a bubble and don’t impact you. Public servants are exploiting the AFFH policies for federal funding and political purposes Your neighborhood may be next. Reach out to the Colorado Springs City Council and let them know you stand with the Pine Creek neighborhood.

Mayor Yemi Mobolade  yemi.mobolade@coloradosprings.gov

Yolanda Avila  Yolanda.Avila@coloradosprings.gov

Lynette Crow-Iverson   lynette.crow-iverson@coloradosprings.gov

Dave Donelson   Dave.Donelson@coloradosprings.gov

Randy Helms   Randy.Helms@coloradosprings.gov

Nancy Henjum   Nancy.Henjum@coloradosprings.gov

David Leinweber   david.leinweber@coloradosprings.gov

Mike O’Malley   Mike.OMalley@coloradosprings.gov

Brian Risley    brian.risley@coloradosprings.gov

Michelle Talarico   michelle.talarico@coloradosprings.gov

5 thoughts on “Affordable Housing Spreads to Wealthier COS Areas Due to HUD Fair Requirements

  1. Very sad , if you get to talk to anyone on the list you get b.sed till you hang up . We need some how to take back our city and county before it gets really bad . Can’t the tax payers take a stand against our city and county officials.

  2. You say that people have the right to live where they want. Do you also think that people have the right to determine who moves into the residence next to them?

  3. Anyway you guys or let me know how to find any and all money that went to the city officials from builders , developer’s etc . I’d be willing to bet somebody received something .

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