Quality of Life

Vibrant Community and Neighborhoods

Improve Access
to Affordable Housing

Due: December 2021

Principle: Improves access to quality housing that is affordable to a broad range of income levels and provides resources, housing, and neighborhood assistance services to Arvada residents, neighborhoods, property owners, and stakeholders.

Description

The strong economy in the State of Colorado plays a key role in rising housing costs. In December 2019, the median home value in Arvada was $440,589. Arvada home values have gone up 2.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.0% within the next year. 

The median list price per square foot in Arvada is $272, which is higher than the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro average of $267. The median price of homes currently listed in Arvada is $459,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $421,500. 

The median rent price in Arvada is $2,150, which is higher than the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro median of $2,100. A household would need to make $85,000 per year to manage a monthly rental rate of $2,100. 

Significance

To support a vibrant community, the City has adopted, as one of its guiding principles, to "Improve access to quality housing that is affordable to a broad range of income levels and provide resources, housing, and neighborhood assistance services to residents, neighborhoods, property owners, and stakeholders."

Arvada's ability to attract and retain residents and businesses relies on affordable housing to a broad range of income levels.

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Analysis

Work on this important strategic work continued throughout 1Q '21.  In March, 2021, a council workshop was held to review the results of the public engagement efforts made to date and to further discuss the six recommendations suggested in the work undertaken by the Root Policy Group.  Additional work will be undertaken throughout the year with the anticipation that a plan will be adopted by the end of 2021.

Work System
Performance Measures

 

Regional Homeless Strategy

Description

Despite a strong economy, homelessness in the U.S. inched up in 2017 and 2018, reversing a previous downward trend. Homelessness in the United States primarily affects urban communities, with about 82 percent of the homeless population in urban areas. Finally, homelessness isn’t distributed evenly. Los Angeles and New York, for example, accounted for 23 percent of all homeless people in the nation in 2018. 

Homelessness can be a result of wage stagnation, mental illness, lack of affordable housing, various forms of discrimination, lack of economic opportunities, addiction, and other such factors that have been explained in a Deloitte article The homelessness paradox: Why do advanced economies still have people who live on the streets? Tackling homelessness in its entirety requires taking into account the three stages of homelessness:

  • Stage 1: People at risk of homelessness.
  • Stage 2: People who are currently homeless.
  • Stage 3: People who have found a home but may need help to keep it.

Most efforts to fight homelessness are focused on stage 2, given its urgency, but the other stages also should be addressed. Traditionally, entities combating homelessness—governments, nonprofits, and community service organizations—have applied a variety of policy and economic approaches to address homelessness.

Significance

The overall number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Arvada continues to increase. This is true for our surrounding neighbors as well. The City of Arvada recognizes the magnitude and complexity of this issue and understands that partnering at a regional level will ensure the best use of resources. 

Analysis

The City Managers adopted an IGA for the Regional Homeless Program, and the City hired the Homeless Navigator. 

Affordable Housing Assessment

Description

This new Strategic Result milestone is in the development stage.  Root Policy Research has completed the initial draft of the Housing Strategy and that was provided to the city advisory committee for review by March 6 and the comments are being compiled for return to the consultant prior to a presentation of the draft report to City staff.

Significance

Why work to address housing needs? Because a balanced housing stock accommodates a full "life cycle community" — where there are housing options for each stage of life from career starters through centenarians. A balanced community supports the local economy and contributes to Arvada's community culture.


Analysis

The City Managers adopted an IGA for the Regional Homeless Program, and the City hired the Homeless Navigator.