Chamber alliance offers support for affordable-housing efforts

BOULDER — The leaders of the Northwest Chamber Alliance have sent a letter to municipal and county elected officials expressing their support of efforts to address a shortage of workforce housing in the region that will be discussed Friday at a regional housing summit.

The Affordable Housing Summit will bring together county commissioners, mayors, and city council and town board members and some of their staff from across the region to discuss a draft plan prepared by the Boulder County Regional Housing Partnership.

The Xilinx Retreat Center in Longmont, the venue for the summit, has a capacity of 60 to 80 people when set up with tables for discussions. Invitations were limited to elected officials and members of their staffs.

The leaders of chambers of commerce in Boulder, Broomfield and Longmont that make up the alliance, through the letter, offered their organizations’ support to help involve the regional business community in addressing housing needs.

“The shortage of housing is not limited by jurisdictional boundaries and is not an issue that any one community can resolve alone,” Sam Taylor, interim president and chief executive of the Access Broomfield Chamber, said in a prepared statement. “It will take a collaborative regional effort to ensure that the talent our businesses need can access the housing they deserve. That is why we join our Northwest Chamber Alliance colleagues in this appeal for a partnership of government, nonprofit and business interests in addressing our workforce housing needs.”  

John Tayer, president and chief executive of the Boulder Chamber, said, “engagement of the private sector, in collaboration with our government and nonprofit partners, will help identify new creative solutions to our workforce housing challenges.”

Scott Cook, president and CEO of the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “It’s clear this is a regional issue, and we’re absolutely committed to working in partnership with our regional chambers, nonprofit housing providers and local governments to clarify our specific housing needs and identify effective solutions that support our workforce and residents.”

In the letter, signed by Tayer, Cook and Taylor, the chamber alliance said in 2018 it will create a forum to engage the business community in bringing a private-sector perspective and a commitment to working together with the public and nonprofit sectors on housing issues in the region.

“We are prepared to actively and positively join the conversations and the actions on strategies identified by the Regional Partnership such as land banking, rezoning, expanded use of industrial and commercial buildings, increased flexibility in regulations and processes for qualified housing projects, linking housing and transportation improvements, and collaborative financing,” they wrote in the letter.

The alliance represents approximately 2,400 businesses that have 100,000 employees.