In an effort to make home ownership more obtainable for lower-income families, Elevations Community Land Trust has put a low income housing project in the works. In five years, the goal of 700 new and current homes will be transformed to allow homeowners to profit on the home's value, while the trust maintains profit on the land. Read more below:
700 homes in 5 years: Metro Denver homeownership initiative has raised $24 million to help low-income families
Seven foundations and nonprofits announce start of Elevation Community Land Trust and five-year goalBy JON MURRAY | firstname.lastname@example.org | The Denver PostPUBLISHED: December 7, 2017 at 4:54 pm | UPDATED: December 8, 2017 at 1:26 am
Several private foundations and nonprofits on Thursday gave a more than $24 million boost to an idea that has gained attention from Denver affordable-housing advocates as a promising way to put homeownership within reach for lower-income families in the metro area.
By forming the Elevation Community Land Trust and committing that money, its backers aim to create the largest community land trust in Colorado. Within five years, the new organization could assemble a collection of 700 homes scattered across the city and its suburbs — split between existing houses and new townhomes and condos — using a model that reduces the cost for buyers who fall below income limits.
It would do so by holding ownership of the land under each home in a nonprofit trust in perpetuity, leasing the land to the home’s owner for regular payments. Upon reselling the house, owners would pocket a portion, but not all, of any increase in the home’s value. Future buyers would face similar income qualifications.
Community land trusts “support low-income families in safely bridging the gap between rental housing and homeownership, allowing them to increase their savings and assets, improve their financial literacy and ultimately become more economically self-sufficient,” said Dave Younggren, the president and CEO of Denver-based Gary Community Investments, which has committed $5 million to the effort through the Piton Foundation.
Unlike most income-restricted housing that is made available for homeownership, the restrictions in a land trust model don’t expire within a few decades, which converts homes to market-priced. Instead, the land trust provides permanent affordability.
Many details of the Elevation program, including financial restrictions, remain to be worked out. But its targets for help are families making 55 percent to 80 percent of the metro area’s annual median income, or AMI.
That range spans $36,960 to $53,760 for a two-person household and $46,145 to $67,120 for a family of four.
Early calculations for the program included a model scenario in which Elevation would buy a home that’s for sale for about $260,000, then invest $25,000 in rehabilitation, Gary officials said.
By holding onto the land ownership, the organization would subtract roughly $80,000 in value from the market selling price charged to the qualified buyer.
“This is a proposed financial model that we came up with to make sure that the numbers could actually work,” said Tracey Stewart, the family and economic security investment director for Gary. “But that’s not necessarily what will happen, because there are a number of variables — including, and most important, the variable of what the community is going to decide. Each neighborhood is going to have a say in how homes are purchased (and) how land is donated.”
If successful, Elevation could set its sights statewide.
Seeking public subsidies and other helpThe fundraising announced Thursday will kick off a plan that is estimated to cost about $58 million during the next five years.
The backers plan to seek an estimated $23 million in contributions from local governments. An additional $11 million could come from new private partners as well as donations of public and private property.
They are starting by seeking a commitment from Denver’s new $15 million-a-year local housing fund.
Informal conversations with metro-area government officials have been encouraging, Younggren said.
“There’s a need and a desire to create some permanent affordability, and that’s really missing,” he said.
The other initial financial backers of Elevation are the Colorado Health Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation, the Bohemian Foundation, the Denver Foundation, the Mile High United Way and Chicago-based Northern Trust.
The Urban Land Conservancy is also lending an organizing hand, and a president and CEO for Elevation should be in place within a few months as the land trust launches. It could begin snatching up for-sale homes later in 2018, but Gary officials say those plans will depend on the new Elevation leader’s direction.
At the end of five years, Gary officials say, their financial modeling shows Elevation operating self-sufficiently from revenue that includes land-lease payments and its shares of resale profits.
On Thursday, Younggren spoke to Denver’s Housing Advisory Committee to get discussions rolling with its first potential city partner about subsidies or other contributions for the project.
City officials have made no firm commitments yet, and the request comes amid increasing interest by Denver neighborhood-based groups in forming local land trusts. There’s also heavy competition from various programs for Denver’s limited housing fund.
“How we stitch this all together with the advice and the expertise around this room is going to be the next challenge,” said Erik Soliván, the director of Denver’s housing policy coordination office.
Activists from the northern Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods have lined up research and partners and early plans for a community land trust to help keep renters and homeowners in the neighborhood. They again asked for city support at Thursday’s housing meeting but so far have had no success.
Some expressed surprise and disappointment with the Elevation plan, since they had met earlier with some of those same foundations and nonprofits to discuss their plans. They perceived that the Elevation plan’s strong backing and money would push it to the front of the line.
“It’s very confusing to me why the city would invest in funders, versus community, and why the funders wouldn’t invest alongside the city in a community,” said Candi CdeBaca, a community organizer in Elyria-Swansea. “Or why they wouldn’t pilot this to see if it works first, before they go with a 700-unit model.”
A mix of new projects and existing homesBackers of the Elevation plan say they support smaller efforts like the one pursued for those north neighborhoods but want to start a broader program that benefits more areas.
Of the 700 or so homes that could be folded into Elevation’s land trust, Gary officials say, about half would be existing homes scattered in neighborhoods that are considered “cost-burdened” — meaning home prices and rents are rising to the point that many current residents now spend more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing.
In Denver, think of Westwood, Elyria-Swansea and parts of the city’s southeast, where home prices are fast increasing. It’s unlikely that Elevation would go for homes in more affluent neighborhoods such as Highland, Cherry Creek or Washington Park.
For the remaining half of the homes, supporters envision Elevation acquiring land and then leasing development rights for new townhouse or condo projects. Owners of those new homes also would pay land leases to Elevation and split resale gains.
Community land trusts have been successful in some cities across the country, but their complexity sometimes makes them more difficult to pull off with existing homes than with new-build projects, experts say.
Gary officials anticipate the plan will evolve along with market changes and neighborhood conditions.
“I don’t know, personally, of another initiative of funder collaboratives that has come together in Colorado around affordable housing in this big of a way,” said Meghan Sivakoff, an investment project manager for Gary Community Investments, during an interview.
“Oh, definitely not around affordable housing,” Stewart chimed in.
A half-dozen or so housing land trusts are operating in the state, including the Colorado Community Land Trust, which began in Lowry; Thistle in Boulder County; Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust in El Paso County; and the Chaffee Housing Trust in Buena Vista. The Urban Land Conservancy holds a land lease for an affordable apartment complex near the Sheridan West Line station and plans to lease out development rights for an upcoming project on land it owns near the 38th and Blake transit station.
The Embassy Suites by Hilton and the Hilton Garden Inn are now located minutes from the heart of downtown Boulder. Located on Canyon Blvd., these hotels are bringing a facelift to central Boulder and offering guests amenities at both locations and a warm welcome to the growing city. Learn about the sister properties below:
Embassy Suites by Hilton
AT A GLANCE
Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder invites you to escape from reality, in a city that welcomes the bold and adventurous.
With comfortable suites, upscale furnishings, and a deep-rooted local culture, you can anticipate a guest experience that’s equal parts style and service.
The signature amenities you know and love will be available to you every day: free made-to-order breakfast, complimentary evening reception*, and a spacious two-room suite. Yet there will likely be something else that turns your stay into a story to remember.
Perhaps your story will be of adventures in Chautauqua Park and along Boulder Creek. Or maybe your version of adventure involves sampling locally sourced fare and craft beer. Either way, our passionate guides will be here to help you discover what it means to live, work, and play in Boulder.
As a guest of Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder, you can enjoy select amenities with our sister property, Hilton Garden Inn Boulder. Take advantage of two distinctly different social gathering places, an outdoor plaza, and a central location in the most exciting area of Boulder.
*Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age.
What to do around here
Not sure what to do during your stay in Boulder? At Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder, our roles go beyond our titles. We’re passionate local guides and your key to the Boulder playground. We can’t wait to tell you about the amazing dish we had on Pearl Street last week, the art exhibit we saw last night, and the selfie we took while rock climbing last weekend. Give us a call before your stay, or talk to us when you arrive, and we’ll gladly share our secrets.
Whether you’re on business from Silicon Valley or visiting with your family, this adventure will be a getaway to remember. You’ll never forget the natural landscapes that compelled you to play, the artisans who expressed their hearts through the hotel’s artwork, and the storytellers who introduced you to your urban retreat.
Hilton Garden Inn
At a Glance
A Fun and Friendly Hotel in Boulder, COHilton Garden Inn Boulder offers you the quality experience and amenities you’ve come to expect—in an upscale atmosphere that’s authentically local.
Every detail is a proud celebration of the Boulder lifestyle and the stories that come from being in a place like nowhere else. There are stories about the local artwork on our walls. Stories behind the locally sourced cuisine. And the stories you have yet to tell about nearby adventures, street performers, and curious boutiques.
Here in the new heart of Boulder, our laidback attitude and enthusiastic guidance may surprise you. But our standard of service and attention to detail will make you feel right at home.
As guest of Hilton Garden Inn Boulder, you can enjoy select amenities with our sister property, Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder. Please just ask the front desk for details.
About the HotelGreat Rooms
You’ll feel right at home in your headquarters for adventure. Each spacious room features a 49-inch HDTV, premium cable, hand painted local artwork, microwave, mini-refrigerator, and a Keurig® coffee maker. If you’re here on business, you can connect your devices to complimentary WiFi and work comfortably at the large desk in your ergonomic chair.
Great RoomsGreat Hotel Features
At Hilton Garden Inn Boulder, it is our pleasure to offer you incredible hotel features, such as our onsite fresh market, 24-hour business center, local artwork, and an outdoor courtyard. But in addition to our great amenities, you also get us. Your personal adventure guides. We have all of the insider knowledge you need on rock climbing, hiking, biking, artisan coffee, fair-trade clothing, and local breweries.
Great Hotel FeaturesLocal Attractions
It's that time of year again to take advantage of all that Colorado has to offer! Don't miss out on skiing some of the best slopes in the state. From family friendly to advanced, these ski resorts will make your winter one to remember! Arapahoe Basin
Ski to your hearts desire at this ski resort open from October to June.
Join the locals on the steep slopes of the Aspen Highlands Resort. Even advanced skiiers are sure to be challenged here.
Ski the powder or enjoy black diamond runs on this resort, established back in 1947.
This resort isn't just a great place for beginners and families to come, but for those looking to catch a glimpse of world famous skiers and snowboarders. Buttermilk has been the host of the ESPN Winter X Games and multiple olympians.
Bring your family and enjoy fun, friendly skiing and a drink or food at one of the many restaurants after.
Make a trip and enjoy the quaint villages and expert slopes at Copper Mountain. This resort is great for beginiers, with its great instructors and has hosts some of the best terrain in Colorado for advanced skiiers and snowboarders.
This town doesn't just have great skiing, but a quaint, Victorian style town great for a weekend getaway or family advneture.
Located just 21 miles from Boulder, this resort is a great day trip. It is especially popular amongst young families with their wonderful education program.
Located in Grandby, enjoy a casual vibe with great views and a great variety of ski runs.
Head down to Durango where the snowfall is rich and plenty of hiking, skiing and snowboarding can be found.
Head to beautiful Steamboat for great family skiing and snowboarding.
Located just 53 miles from Denver and open from October to May, this is an easily acceced resort all winter long.
Enjoy friendly people, cheaper prices and less crowds at Monarch Mountain.
Enjoy great powder, ski skiing, and breathtaking views from the world's largest flat top mountain!
This isn't your ordinary ski trip. Enjoy a true vacation with a spa, shops, restuarants and more in the San Juan Mountains in Durango.
Hosting many ungroomed runs, this mountain is truly for the experts.
This mountain is no joke! Filled with acres upon acres of terrain, you are sure to have to come back for more!
Steamboat isn't just one of the prettiest places in the wold, but one that is visited by many olympians and now has direct flight options.
Located near Glenwood Springs, this resort not only offers cheaper, less crowded skiing where the snow lasts twice as long, but a great vacation option. After your busy day on the slopes, enjoy downtown Glenwood Springs with their famous hot springs, great restaurants and shopping.
Looking for great skiing and golfing in the summer, head southwest to Telluride. Like Steamboat, non stop flights are now offered and the town's spa, shops and restaurants make this a great weekend getaway.
This resort isn't just great for skiing for all levels, but a renowned resort in the summer for concerts and festivals. Get your fill of the Colorado mountains all year long at Winter Park.
Located in the San Juan mountains, this resort offers freindly people, homemade food and cheaper prices.
Hot 2018 Decor Trends are Here and HouseBeautiful has 16 decorating tips that will make your home trending in the New Year!!
View the full article:
16 Décor Trends That Are Going to Be Hot in 2018
The Denver Post published this article showcasing how Denver is in the top 10 cities that have seen the largest income gains since the recession, most notably because of its increase in tech jobs across the area. Learn more below:
Denver among the 10 U.S. metro areas with largest income gains since the recession
Thriving cities are leaving others behindBy CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | The Associated PressPUBLISHED: December 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm | UPDATED: December 17, 2017 at 2:21 pm
As the nation’s economy was still reeling from the body blow of the Great Recession, Seattle’s was about to take off.
In 2010, Amazon opened a headquarters in the little-known South Lake Union district — and then expanded eight-fold over the next seven years to fill 36 buildings. Everywhere you look, there are signs of a thriving city: Building cranes looming over streets, hotels crammed with business travelers, tony restaurants filled with diners.
Seattle is among a fistful of cities that have flourished in the 10 years since the Great Recession officially began in December 2007, even while most other large cities — and sizable swaths of rural America — have managed only modest recoveries. Some cities are still struggling to shed the scars of recession
IN LAS VEGAS, HALF-FINISHED HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS, RELICS OF THE HOUSING BOOM, POCKMARK THE SURROUNDING DESERT. FAMILIES THERE EARN NEARLY 20 PERCENT LESS, ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION, THAN IN 2007.
The Associated Press
Change in employment by metro areas. (Click to enlarge)In the decade since the recession began, the nation as a whole has staged a heartening comeback: The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, down from 10 percent in 2009. Employers have added jobs for 86 straight months, a record streak. And last year, income for a typical U.S. household, adjusted for inflation, finally regained its 1999 peak.
Yet the rebound has been uneven. It’s failed to narrow the country’s deep regional economic disparities and in fact has worsened them, according to data analyzed exclusively for The Associated Press. A few cities have grown much richer, thanks to their grip on an outsize share of lucrative tech jobs and soaring home prices. Others have thrived because of surging oil and gas production.
But many Southern and Midwestern cities — from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Janesville, Wisconsin — have yet to recover from the loss of manufacturing jobs that have been automated out of existence or lost to competition from China, before and during the recession. Like others, they have fewer jobs and lower household incomes than before the downturn.
Those disparities complicate the rosy picture painted by most nationwide economic data. With the nation enduring a widening wealth gap, an overall robust U.S. economy doesn’t necessarily translate into widely shared prosperity.
“There’s definitely a pattern of the coasts pulling away from the middle of the country on income,” said Alan Berube, an expert on metro U.S. economies at the Brookings Institution. “There are a large number of places around the country that haven’t gotten back to where they were 15 years ago, never mind ten years ago.”
That said, for all the economic might the top-flight cities have gained in the past decade, many city officials and business leaders have become concerned that their success is running up against limits. Surging home prices and rents have made housing unaffordable for many. With cities like Seattle and San Francisco choked with traffic, engulfed by homeless people and requiring ever-larger incomes to live comfortably, quality of life may be at risk.
In the Western United States, inflation reached nearly 3 percent in October compared with a year earlier, according to government data. By contrast, inflation rose just 1.5 percent in the Midwest and New England.
“It’s the first time I have noticed a persistent spread between inflation in one area and the rest of the country,” says Steve Cochrane, an economist at Moody’s Analytics who has studied regional economics for 25 years.
Mindful of the financial burden on employees, some tech companies have decided to set up shop or expand where expenses are more manageable. Snapchat and Hulu have put down roots on the slightly more affordable west side of Los Angeles, joining outposts of Google and Facebook in an area now known as “Silicon Beach.”
Last year, nearly as many people moved out of Silicon Valley — defined as Santa Clara and San Mateo counties — as moved in, according to a report by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a civic group. It was the first time since 2010 that the number of arrivals and departures have been roughly equal.
The trend isn’t entirely surprising given that commuting times in San Francisco have lengthened by 40 minutes a week in the past decade, the report said. The price of a typical San Francisco home has reached an eye-watering $1.2 million, according to Trulia, an online real estate data provider.
Housing costs, inflated by local regulations restricting home-building, can act as a barrier to opportunity. They make it harder for people in poorer areas to move for better opportunities. With fewer people able to move to places with more jobs and higher pay, the national economy tends to suffer, economists say.
Among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, San Francisco experienced the biggest gain in median household income in the decade after the recession began. Adjusted for inflation, it jumped 13.2 percent, according to data compiled by Moody’s Analytics. San Jose, which is part of Silicon Valley, enjoyed the second-largest increase, at 12.7 percent, followed by Austin, Texas, with 8.8 percent.
By comparison, median household income in the 100 largest metro areas actually fell 2.7 percent, on average. And the income gap between the 10 richest and 10 poorest metro areas has widened in the past decade, Moody’s data shows.
The Associated Press
Income inequality between cities. (Click to enlarge)Eight of the 10 cities with the largest income gains are “tech hubs,” with heavy concentrations of software architects, data analysts and cloud-computing engineers. They include Denver, Portland, Oregon; Provo, Utah; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Pittsburgh has experienced the ninth-largest income gain, thanks to increased tech and health care jobs. Oklahoma City, where inflation-adjusted incomes are up 5.5 percent, has benefited from the oil and gas boom.
Most Americans haven’t received raises anywhere near that large. Data compiled by Brookings shows that 65 percent of Americans who live in urban areas — defined as cities with populations above 65,000 — live in places where the typical household income is still below its 1999 level.
Max Versace, CEO of artificial intelligence startup Neurala, who arrived in Boston in 2001 from Italy, has watched the city transform itself into a boomtown, filled with innovative companies working on robotics, AI and self-driving cars. Boston enjoyed the 11th-best income gain in the past decade, Moody’s data shows.
“I have never experienced a slowdown in Boston,” said Versace, whose company is based in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood, a formerly rundown industrial area now crowded with startups and high-end restaurants. “Boston is one of those bubbles — good bubbles — that have been saved by the two locomotives of computer sciences and biotechnology.”
Versace launched Neurala in 2013, and it now has 36 employees, including eight with PhDs. While most workers across the country have endured scant pay gains, Versace estimates that salaries for AI researchers with Ph.D.’s have doubled since 2008.
Neurala is working to incorporate AI in drones, including one aimed at energy firms that will use its technology to spot cracks in pipelines or wind turbines without needing humans to monitor video feeds.
One other change Versace is happy to observe: “I no longer have to spit out espressos or pasta,” because the quality of each has improved so much since he arrived.
The divergence between the richest and poorest U.S. cities predates the Great Recession. But it is historically unusual. For a period of 100 years ending in the 1980s, income gaps between richer and poorer cities narrowed steadily.
Economists cite three reasons why such convergence ended. The nature of high-tech work, for one thing, makes it productive for higher-skilled workers to cluster in the same cities.
Elisa Giannone, an economist at the University of Chicago, notes that in past decades, highly paid professionals — doctors, say — might have congregated in cities with fewer physicians to capitalize on the lack of competition and earn more. Likewise, many companies that employed high-skilled workers would move to lower-cost cities to take advantage of cheaper labor.
But her research has found that both trends have been upended by the rise of highly skilled information technology work. People with such skills prefer to work in cities with their peers. And the companies that employ them seem to care just as much about the right skills as they do about lower costs. What’s more, higher educated employees typically become more efficient when they cluster together and exchange ideas.
“It’s more beneficial and more productive to go where there are more people like me,” Giannone says, referring to how such workers think. “I don’t want to be left out.”
Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, the job listings website, calculates that one quarter of tech job openings in the first half of this year were located in just eight tech hubs: Baltimore, Washington, Boston, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Raleigh, North Carolina.
A second factor is swelling home prices and rents, particularly where regulations make it harder to build more. People in poorer areas often used move to wealthier cities to find better opportunities. Now, that option is increasingly available only to those with advanced skills or education.
Two public policy experts, Peter Ganong and Daniel Shoag, concluded in a paper last year that both janitors and lawyers used to fare better financially in New York City than in poorer cities, even accounting for the higher cost of living.
Now, because of rocketing home prices in richer areas, that’s no longer true. Lawyers can still come out ahead. But janitors and other lower-skilled workers don’t.
“Skilled workers move to high cost, high productivity areas, and unskilled workers move out,” Ganong and Shoag wrote.
In the 10 cities with the fastest income growth, housing prices have soared by an average of 31.1 percent in the past decade, Trulia found. That compares with a national average increase of just 5.1 percent.
One result has been huge wealth gains for a fortunate few. A resident of San Francisco who bought a typical home, paying nearly $816,000 in the spring of 2007 — just as the housing market nationwide was collapsing — has gained $365,000 in the past decade.
In Cincinnati, a homeowner who bought at the same time would have paid just $143,000 but would have gained only $6,500.
“Geography plays a critical role in wealth building,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia.
A final factor behind the diversion is that the industries and occupations in slower-growing regions were leveled by the recession. Manufacturing and mining are disproportionately located in red states. So are retail jobs. All those sectors have endured weak growth since the recession.
Robin Brooks, an economist at the Institute of International Finance, a trade group, says those job losses have opened a gap between so-called “red” states, which voted for Donald Trump in 2016, and “blue” states.
About 61 percent of blue state residents have jobs, compared with roughly 59 percent in red states, Brooks found. That cuts against recent historical patterns: From the 1990s through the mild recession of 2001, there was no gap at all.
Despite the persistence of regional inequality, some positive trends have emerged: More tech jobs are moving out of the tech hubs and spreading around the country. Software programming jobs have migrated to Dallas, Detroit, and Charlotte, among other cities, according to Brookings data. Software increasingly plays a vital role in banking and finance, auto manufacturing, and retail.
But many of those tech jobs are lower- or mid-level positions, such as technical support and help desk jobs, rather than higher-paying, cutting-edge positions. Kolko notes that the most highly-skilled tech jobs — in such areas as machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence; computer vision; and database engineering — are even more concentrated in tech hubs than are tech jobs overall.
“There’s a spreading out of the tech economy, but it remains a different tech economy in the middle of the country than what you find in the Bay Area, Boston, New York and Austin,” Berube said.
Software may be more widely used, but when it comes to actually inventing new software, “that is still a phenomenon you find in only four of five places in the United States.”
AP Writers Gene Johnson in Seattle and Matt O’Brien in Boston contributed to this report.
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I am a real estate professional, serving Boulder and Denver, Colorado. My extensive knowledge of the market, coupled with my commitment to provide extraordinary service, has resulted in hundreds of successful transactions. Let me help you buy or sell your home.