- Participated in the Home Wanted: Boulder County town hall that included a discussion about making housing more inclusive and affordable. This town hall included Former Boulder County Housing and Human Services Director Frank Alexander, City of Boulder Deputy Director of Housing and Human Services Kristin Hyser, and other regional housing leaders discussing how Boulder County is working across the region to increase housing inventory for the area. This event included advocacy for a housing site in Gunbarrel currently under discussion.
- Partnered with the Boulder County Regional Housing Plan to provide Boulder Together investors with complimentary tickets to the Naturally Affordable Housing virtual summit. Attendees participated in discussions addressing:
- Innovations in Financing
- Zoning, Coding, and Other Local Policies
- Creating Thriving Neighborhoods (Resident Ownership and/or Social Capital)
- Providing Housing for the Unhoused and High Risk Groups
- Helping the Individuals Who Need Housing
- Developing and Implementing a Comprehensive Affordable Housing Strategy
- Reducing the Construction Cost of Housing
- Innovative Small Residences (Tiny Homes and ADUs)
- Innovations in Home Sharing, Ownership, and Rental Models
- Housing Strategies to Address Climate Change & Financial Sustainability
- Joined with the Longmont Chamber to champion a Boulder County project at Redtail Ridge that would have expanded the area’s housing options near a key employment center. (read letter here, attached) While the project ultimately did not advance, it was important to provide the voice of businesses to the conversation regarding a significant Boulder County development.
Since Boulder Together launched in 2018, the City has added 247 affordable housing units, with significant housing under development. Many of these new units are multi-family apartments and condos that will help workers and families of more modest means attain housing in the community.
Our support of key housing initiatives includes discussions in about the Gunbarrel area as well as key sites in Central Boulder.
The Boulder Chamber is participating in the East Boulder Subcommunity Working Group, which will provide recommendations to City Council in the coming months about increasing housing options in that area of town.
- Developed a Housing Study to assess the current inventory of workforce housing, as well as the community’s needs for the future. While the distribution of the study has been postponed due to COVID-19, we will send it to employers throughout the region, leveraging our broader Northwest Chamber Alliance partners, which represent 3,600 businesses and 370,000 employees in Boulder and Broomfield Counties. We look forward to learning how the health current crisis impacts housing dynamics, and also hearing about housing needs of the future.
Working with community partners on a Housing summit, now slated for this fall. Planning is underway with leaders from Boulder Together as well as partners from the Northwest Chamber Alliance, a coalition including the Boulder, Broomfield, Louisville, Lafayette, Longmont, Superior and Latino Chamber of Boulder County. Topics will include process improvement opportunities, such as those identified in the Development and Permitting process survey. In addition, panelists will discuss regulatory opportunities, as well as financing mechanisms. We will continue to keep you apprised as the details of this event come together. If you have additional suggestion or feedback, please contact Lori.Call@BoulderChamber.com.
Launched a survey to identify opportunities to streamline the City of Boulder’s development and permitting process.
- Worked with City of Boulder Planning and Development Review staff, members of the development community and others involved with this type of work to build a survey that will help assess the current processes and identify areas of opportunity; survey is underway, and results will be leveraged to identify baseline metrics and future areas of focus
- Contracted with two local communication firms, Vermilion and MAPR, to help advance our goal to increase communication to the community to help people understand the downstream ramifications of housing scarcity; campaign advocates that our community include housing options for teachers, health care providers and individuals at varying socioeconomic levels
- Working in concert with the private and public sector to convene a stakeholder meeting to discuss housing financing mechanisms, low-cost/no cost opportunities to improve efficiencies and building costs, and regional zoning and other best practices
- A housing study will be kicked off shortly to determine workforce housing needs to serve Boulder; focus will address the current workforce housing baseline and goal, and further delineating how many employees want to live in Boulder
- Advocated support to legislative delegation for HB19-1319 Incentives Developers Facilitate Affordable Housing and HB19-1322 Expand Supply of Affordable Housing—signed by Governor.
- Initiated strategic collaboration with County and City leadership on Regional Housing Partnership goals.
- Advocated for annexation of University of Colorado South Campus in Biz West and provided ongoing support for CU South and its opportunity to expand housing inventory.
- Advocated to Boulder City Council for mixed-use housing options at Alpine-Balsam.
- Convening local housing (and commercial) development leaders to set priority focus areas for expedited planning review and permitting.
- Advancing regional workforce housing strategies through collaboration with Northwest Chamber Alliance with focus on public education, creative financing and regulatory reform.
- Provide critical input to City Council and staff on proposed use table updates and the opportunity zone moratorium as part of strategy to advance zoning that increases housing inventory.
- Strategized on federal housing funding opportunities with Senator Michael Bennet’s office and part of the effort to apply outside funding to achieving our Boulder Together housing goals.
- Tackled housing pressures and national solutions, as well as other key issues, in a Policy Roundtable discussion with Congressman Joe Neguse we hosted for our Boulder Together investors and other Boulder Chamber business leaders.
- In line with our goal of expanding understanding regarding the workforce housing challenges, we led a packed session with the local entrepreneur community during Boulder Startup Week that shared information and sought their input on solutions to addressing the ongoing pressures central to our Boulder Together pillars.
We are developing an implementation plan for each of these items, all of which are consistent with our Boulder Together priorities.
- The Boulder Chamber hired a new Director of Policy Programs, Lori Call, who will assume responsibility for implementation of Boulder Together’s Workforce Housing goals.
Convened the Regional Workforce Housing Summit through our partnership with the Northwest Chamber Alliance, applying the creative insights from a diverse mix of business leaders to develop solutions for our workforce housing challenges. See summary report of the proposed solutions.
Prioritizing the most effective ideas and solutions for addressing our regional workforce housing challenges with the Northwest Chamber Alliance, while also identifying the most effective solutions for the Boulder community.
Accepting proposals for implementing the planned workforce housing assessment, in order to determine the full scope and character of our workforce housing challenge.
Convened the leadership of our development community, the Collaborative Planning and Development Forum, to begin establishing metrics for our efforts to track progress in improvements to Boulder’s project review and permitting procedures.
Working with a diverse group of housing advocates and developers to create the Innovate for Impact proposal to establish procedures for neighborhoods, individuals and developers to propose pilot projects to City of Boulder to address affordable housing for Boulder area employees.
Identified process, technical assistance teams, review criteria, and have submitted overall proposal to City of Boulder’s Planning and Community Development Department for staff review and approval. Now recruiting project evaluator and seeking funding for Innovate for Impact project administration.
Working with University of Colorado Boulder, City of Boulder, the Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers in the annexation of CU South properties.
Reviewed CU South land use and flood control issues with CU staff heading up CU annexation process.
Organized meetings between impacted South Boulder neighborhood and Frasier Meadows residents, Board and staff.
Organized advocacy effort and education program from neighborhood and Frasier to City Council to adopt option for flood control configuration and allow forward progress towards annexation.
- Working with the City of Boulder and the Regional Housing Partnership in preparing profiles of local company employees including wages, expenses, types of housing for which the employee/family might qualify, and the availability of the affordable housing type by community.
- Continue to provide input to the City of Boulder’s initiative to more clearly define “community benefit” and establish policies and procedures by which qualifying projects and proposals may either be exempted from or facilitated through existing requirements.