Thought Leaders: Loveland’s affordable housing supply grows with private-sector support

By Jeff Feneis - Thought Leaders: Loveland’s affordable housing supply grows with private-sector support — 

Loveland and Larimer County, like the rest of Colorado, have seen home prices and rental rates increase dramatically. Over the last five years Loveland home prices are up by a third, and the average market-rate rent is $1,600 a month. Too many families and individuals struggle to pay rent — let alone hope to buy a home. For the 4,000 households on the Loveland Housing Authority’s waitlist, the wait is unbearably long.

Many of us know Loveland as a great place to live — but it is becoming increasingly difficult to afford to live here.

The Loveland Housing Authority (LHA) provides low- and moderate-income residents with opportunities for home and community through housing. LHA provides affordable rental apartments, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, income qualifying home repair assistance, resident support services, and other programs.  In addition, LHA creates opportunities for homeownership by working in partnership with Loveland Habitat for Humanity, Impact Development Builders, and Mission Homes to develop neighborhoods with diversified affordable housing products. 

One of the most impactful ways to increase our affordable housing supply is through donations of developable land by landowners and real estate developers. LHA has had longstanding partnerships with landowners and real estate developers in northern Colorado.

Grace Gardens, a 14-acre multi-product affordable neighborhood in south Loveland, was made possible by a land donation by Grace Community Church. The success of this project has led to interest from Crossroads Church regarding the partial donation of land owned by the church.

One of LHA’s upcoming affordable housing developments will be built on a 4.4-acre parcel of land donated in December 2022 by McWhinney, the developer of the 3,000-acre master-planned Centerra community in Loveland. The donated land is located just south of The Greens at Van de Water, Kohl’s, and Lowe’s, in the Van de Water mixed-used community developed by McWhinney, that offers residents convenient access to shopping, restaurants and other businesses. LHA plans to develop 84 affordable multifamily rental apartment homes on the site, serving households earning up to 80% of the area median income.

The lack of affordable housing in Loveland is a community-wide issue that affects all residents, directly or indirectly.  Grace Community Church, Crossroads Church, McWhinney and others understand the importance of giving back. Collaborative, long-term partnerships like these can help us move the needle on our community’s affordable housing supply.