Articles & Press Releases

Articles & Press Releases

The transit oriented development work of ULC was the focus of the recent article by Henry Grabar of The Atlantic titled:

Part Land Bank, Part Community-Focused Credit Line

Mr. Grabar’s interview with ULC President and CEO Aaron Miripol included specific success stories in land banking and development such as Evans Station Lofts and a future Blake Station development. With the massive growth of Denver’s rail infrastructure, ULC is working to strategically identify properties that can best address community needs. Developments include affordable housing, nonprofit facility space, library, schools and other commercial use.


Nice piece by Melinda Pollack, ULC’s close partner at Enterprise Community Partners.  Read the Huffington Post article about how Denver is a national leader in the creation of affordable housing and community services near transit!


Breakthrough partnership of local leaders outlines vision to ensure that Metro Denver’s expanding transit system strengthens quality of life for all area residents

Mayor Michael Hancock speaks about critical role  RTD will play in connecting residents to opportunity–including  housing, health, education and jobs

Denver – Calling it a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the region,” an unprecedented local partnership of private, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders was joined by Mayor Michael Hancock to outline how a smart expansion of Denver’s transit system can greatly increase access to opportunity and strengthen quality of life for all local residents, including low-income communities.

The partnership, known as Mile High Connects, also used the event to formally release its Regional Equity Atlas, a comprehensive study that visually conveys where critical points of opportunity—like schools, jobs, health care, and housing—lie in relation to the current transit system in the Denver Metro region. The report will serve as the basis of the partnership’s work to ensure that low-income residents can use Metro Denver’s expanded mass transit system to connect to these areas.

The event included a panel of jobs, health, education and housing experts including Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; Anne Warhover, president and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation; Susana Cordova, chief academic officer of Denver Public Schools; and Gene Myers, CEO of New Town Builders.

Keynote Speaker Manuel Pastor, nationally renowned author, professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC) and director of the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, discussed the vital role that equity plays in regional growth and prosperity.

The event was attended by more than 250 community members. Mayor Michael Hancock talked about the need to connect low-income families with affordable housing and transportation options, which in turn connect them to educational and career opportunities, increasing the overall economic success of our region as a whole.

The research done to develop the Regional Equity Atlas revealed that low-income populations in many parts of the region cannot currently take advantage of affordable transit choices to access career, education and health opportunities.

“The build-out of our transit system represents an enormous public investment,” says Patrick Horvath, director of The Denver Foundation’s Strengthening Neighborhoods Program, and co-chair of Mile High Connects.  “It’s our goal to ensure that investment pays dividends for all residents— especially those in low-income communities.”

By increasing resources, influencing policy, working with residents and leveraging the current and expanding Metro Denver transit system, Mile High Connects will work to alleviate some of the challenges faced by low- income families in Denver.

“We are supporting this effort because we believe that the people of the Denver region are setting a very promising example for the rest of the nation,” said Lisa Davis, program officer of the Ford Foundation. “Guided by the work of Mile High Connects, they are showing not only how to build a world class transportation system, but how to do so in a way that lifts all people and connects many more families with the opportunity to build a stronger future and get ahead.”

Top line key findings of the Equity Atlas follow and a full copy of the Equity Atlas report can be found online at

The Denver region has a tremendous opportunity to increase transportation options through the current transit expansion.  The enhanced transit connections will increase the number of walking and bicycling trips, as more and more people can walk or bike to their nearest transit station, which will in turn connect them to even more destinations.

Last-mile connections are essential to make transit a viable transportation alternative.  Communities need to invest in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure that will connect people to the places they need to go within the station area and further afield. Employers need to look at ways to promote transit usage and how they might be able to provide those last mile connections themselves through shuttle services to and from stations.

The region is interdependent. Opportunities and resources in the Denver region are dispersed throughout many communities, new rail and bus service will not connect everyone to every place they need to go, but they will improve access to many important destinations.

Low income and other economically disadvantaged populations in many parts of the region cannot currently take advantage of affordable transit choices to access opportunities.  Pockets of poverty exist throughout the Denver region without good access to jobs, schools, and essential services. Living near transit, specifically in walk and bike friendly neighborhoods, can help low income families keep costs down by not owning a car or driving less often, leading to improved health outcomes.

The full build out of the regional transit network will improve access to opportunities for low income and other economically disadvantaged populations compared to what is available now.  Many economically disadvantaged groups will be better connected to jobs and other places of importance as the transit network is built out.

Many of the region’s affordable housing units are located near current or future transit stations, but increased demand for living near transit may cause gentrification and displacement pressures. The demand for housing near transit across the country is expected to grow exponentially in the coming decades and the cost to live in these neighborhoods is expected to rise. To ensure that current residents can continue to afford to live near transit, policies and strategies should be in place to preserve and create affordable housing near transit.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the region, and we must get it right.  Unlike many other cities with long-established transit systems, Denver’s system is still in its infancy. Now is the time to plan and leverage this massive investment in transportation infrastructure. Land use decisions should align with the transportation plans to co-locate the elements of a prosperous, equitable, and sustainable region: affordable housing, job centers, educational institutions, quality of life amenities and community resources such as day care, markets, health centers, and commercial districts. Local transportation planning must also integrate and facilitate connections between different modes of transportation to make it safe and convenient for people to reach destinations by a means other than a personal automobile.

Urban Land Conservancy is proud to be one of 85 entities involved in the Denver region’s 2011 Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant.  The grant would support a multi-jurisdictional, multi-sector partnership to support the Federal Livability Principles in the $6.7 billion expansion of FasTracks.

These funds are available through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities coalition, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is the lead applicant and would oversee community supported efforts for the successful integration of housing, transportation, community and economic development, public health, environmental issues and stakeholder engagement in the FasTracks build out.

Click here to read the full application.

Urban Land Conservancy Preserves Affordable Housing in Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District – Acquires 5th Transit Oriented Development Fund Property

DENVERThe Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) purchased its fifth property for $1.35 million using Denver’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Fund on Tuesday, a unique fund specifically set up with ULC, Enterprise Community Partners, City and County of Denver and other investors, to acquire and preserve land for workforce housing near light rail stops and high frequency bus routes.

Villa TOD Apartments is a mixed-use property located at 900 to 926 W. 10th Avenue, in the heart of the Santa Fe Arts District and includes 16 units of affordable apartments, four commercial office spaces and an auto body shop. Built in the 1920s, this .31 acre site is within five blocks of the Osage Light Rail Station located at 10th Avenue and Osage Street.

“The preservation and structural improvement of Villa TOD will boost the health of the neighborhood by providing workforce housing, affordable office space for neighborhood programs and will create local jobs,” said Aaron Miripol, President and CEO of ULC.

ULC plans to partner with NEWSED, a nonprofit Community Development Corporation, and Denver Inner City Parish (DICP), a human services organization, for the long-term management and use of the property.  Located across the street from Villa TOD, NEWSED has developed and operated properties along the Santa Fe corridor for 37 years.  ULC and NEWSED have previously partnered on the preservation of the Jody Apartments at 11th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard and a nonprofit center at 1029 Santa Fe Drive.

“NEWSED C.D.C supports ULC’s property acquisition activities in TOD areas and we look forward to another possible partnership with ULC at Villa TOD.  NEWSED’s long-term efforts to revitalize the Santa Fe business corridor will benefit by this new project,” said Veronica Barela, President & CEO of NEWSED.

DICP has worked in the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood for over 50 years operating wrap-around services programs in education, food, job training and re-entry.  DICP is looking to expand their services to include housing assistance; this facility will be a natural extension of their current service area and will allow them to fill a vital need in west Denver.

We are looking forward to being a partner in this community asset long term,” said Todd Clough, Executive Director of DICP. “Being able to provide housing services to our community is something we are really excited about.”

Rent at the current site serves households at or below 40 percent Area Median Income (AMI). ULC is committed to preserving the property as workforce housing and will follow the TOD Fund mandate that residential rates are at or below 60 percent AMI, with approximately 15 percent of units serving households at or below 30 percent AMI.

Established in 2003, Urban Land Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that uses real estate as a tool to benefit urban communities. ULC acquires, preserves and develops land for urban assets such as workforce housing, nonprofit office space and schools.  For more information, go to


Builder News writes about Denver’s Transit-Oriented Development Fund, “a wise civic investment for a city poised to dramatically expand public transportation.”

see page 20 for the story:

 Urban Land Conservancy Acquires 4th Property using Denver’s Transit Oriented Development Fund –    Project Awarded $1.04 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits

Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) today announced the purchase of land along Denver’s FasTracks Southwest light rail corridor that will be developed into an affordable, mixed-use transit oriented development.  This is the fourth property ULC has acquired using Denver’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Fund, and will provide much needed workforce housing and retail opportunity directly across from the Evans Light Rail Station.

ULC purchased the .96 acre property at 2140 S. Delaware Street for $1,197,900 using the TOD Fund.  The Fund was set up specifically for acquiring and preserving land for workforce housing near existing or future light rail stops and high frequency bus routes. It is financed in part by the City and County of Denver and Enterprise Community Partners, who is also the administrator of the Fund.  ULC’s President and CEO Aaron Miripol states, “This site being directly across the street from the Evans Station will provide much economic opportunity in a prime location, giving people easy transit access for jobs and education opportunities. We expect this development to be catalytic to the area, encouraging additional community investment.”

ULC is partnering with affordable housing developer Medici Communities LLC who was recently awarded $1,045,505 in annual low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) from Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) for the project. The LIHTC program provides the private market with an incentive to invest in affordable rental housing.

Medici’s Evans Station Lofts will be a five-story development which will include 50 residential workforce units and 7,100 square feet of retail and commercial space.  This project will be the first family LIHTC project at an existing light rail station along RTD’s FasTracks, and will serve households with incomes ranging from 30% to 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Denver City Councilman Chris Nevitt represents the district where the land was purchased and welcomes the prospect of development in the area. “The City and the community have spent so much time and energy planning for development in this area.  We’re very excited that actual development will now be taking place – particularly this kind of transit oriented development.”

Colorado Real Estate Journal‘s Jennifer Hayes profiled ULC’s President and CEO, Aaron Miripol in the April 20-May 3, 2011 edition. 


Making An Impact Key To The Work Of Miripol, ULC
Jennifer Hayes


Whether it’s a positive change for one family or 100 families, Aaron Miripol relishes the impact the Urban Land Conservancy has on the lives of others.

“To be able to work for the benefit of a community long term, to focus on these communities that don’t necessarily have great amenities, to do work that in some cases stabilizes a neighborhood and to make a positive impact in a community is gratifying,” Said Miripol, president and chief executive officer of the Urban Land Conservancy.

“There is a lot of reward in the work we do,” added Miripol, who leads the real estate company, a supporting nonprofit organization to the Denver Foundation, in partnering with a range of organizations in the Denver metro area on the acquisition and development of land and buildings to preserve and enhance their ability to create sustainable benefits in underserved communities.

Miripol has more than 20 years’ experience running community development and affordable housing companies and has overseen more than $100 million in economic development – the result of seeing what happened in his own backyard.

“I think my early childhood had a lot to do with why I chose to go into community development,” said Miripol, explaining that growing up on Chicago’s South Shore, he witnessed the effects redlining and racial fears had on changing his neighborhood.

So Miripol sought to be part of change for the better.

A Goldsmith Scholar in international studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Miripol has dual bachelor’s degrees in history and International studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., and a master’s degree in public policy from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

While his career started in Chicago, where Miripol worked to get slumlords’ properties placed in court receivership, it was in Baltimore where he got his first taste of being on the front end of community development. There, he ran Southwest Visions and The Loading Dock, two inner-city nonprofit community development organizations.

“After six years working in Baltimore, I definitely needed a change of pace,” said Miripol, who found it as executive director of Thistle Community Housing in Boulder.

In his nine years with Thistle Community Housing, he provided oversight to one of the fastest-growing nonprofit housing providers in Colorado and helped the organization increase its affordable housing stock from 100-plus homes to 1,000 rental and ownership homes valued at $70 million, and grow from serving 250 people a year to more than 3,000 annually.

Yet in 2007, another change of pace presented itself to Miripol.

“I can’t say I was looking when a notice for the Urban Land Conservancy position appeared. However, it was something very different.It wasn’t just real estate or housing or traditional economic development but a variety of elements.”

And it is that variety of work and multitude of partners that keeps Miripol passionate about what the ULC does.

To date, the Urban Land Conservancy has partnered on 12 real estate transactions ranging from vacant lots to nonprofit office space to affordable housing through the Transit Oriented Development Fund (a housing and economic development tool that ensures when property values inflate around transit Sites, Denverites are not pushed out of the housing market) to the Phillips Center.

“It may have the biggest impact of any of ULC’s projects,” Miripol said of the redevelopment of the 95,000-square-foot Denver Tramway Co. Facility at 35th Avenue and Franklin Street, currently home to multiple nonprofits and located across from the Wyatt-Edison Charter School.

“It can be a long-term community asset,” commented Miripol, who volunteers on Wyatt-Edison’s school board in addition to being a volunteer rugby coach at East High School. Miripol also is active with his wife, Marsha Walker, and their daughter, and enjoys mountain biking, camping and skiing.

“Every deal is something different. I learn something new every time,” said Miripol.“It continues to challenge me. It’s why I love it.”

“I have a lot of passion And energy,” he continued. “But it is our staff, our board and our partners that make the Urban Land Conservancy successful. Without the vision of those who started ULC, we wouldn’t be able to do the work that we do.

“It’s great to be a part of something that is incredibly impactful.”


ULC preserves land and affordable housing along Denver transit corridors

This spike in urban land values around transit in America has not gone unnoticed. In 2004, Denver-area voters approved a ballot measure to vastly expand that city’s transit system by 150 miles – the largest such expansion in the country.

That’s already happening in the neighborhood of Five Points, a historically African American community. Aaron Miripol heads up a group called the Urban Land Conservancy. The ULC buys land near the rail line, to keep it affordable. As the light rail hums by in Five Points, he indicates a co-op that his group bid on, and lost.


“We’ve bid on property and there were 25 other bids and not in a great location – you had investors from California, a number of out of state investors, that were bidding on this,” Miripol says.

Listen to the full story on National Public Radio.

Urban Land Conservancy purchased a two-acre portion of Festival Plaza at Avondale located on west Denver’s FasTracks light rail corridor near the future Knox and Decatur stations. ULC will be the master developer for this site that will include the new west Denver library, a mixed-use workforce housing development with Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation, and commercial space.  The property was purchased using Denver’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Fund administered by Enterprise Community Partners.

“Low and moderate income families spend more than fifty percent of their incomes on a combination of housing and transportation,” said Melinda Pollack, vice president of most vulnerable populations, Enterprise Community Partners. “Avondale will not only provide affordable homes next to what will be Denver’s best public transportation system, but it will also support the development of lifelong learners with the advent of the new public library. We are extremely proud of our continual work with the City, ULC and the surrounding communities as we begin the development process on this newest acquisition of the Denver TOD Fund.” Last year, ULC and the Denver TOD Fund completed the first loan facility with the acquisition of the Dahlia Street Apartments, which preserved 36 affordable homes in the northeast Park Hill neighborhood of Denver.

The City and County of Denver will purchase approximately .8 acres of this two-acre parcel as the site for the much desired west Denver library. “This is a perfect site for the new library,” says Denver’s City Librarian Shirley Amore, “We are looking forward to working with the Urban Land Conservancy, our architect, Studiotrope, and the surrounding neighborhoods to design and build a library that will transform not only the entrance to west Colfax but also the broader community.”

Denver’s TOD Fund is the first in the country, helping Denver ensure that when property values go up around areas of transit-oriented development, lower-income residents are not pushed out of the housing market. “We see this site as a strategic gateway to the west Colfax Denver community, the mix of uses in this development will bring great economic benefit to the area which is essential to the revitalization of the neighborhood,” says ULC’s President and CEO Aaron Miripol, “We are thrilled to have worked with Shanghai Land Investment, L.L.C. to purchase this property and begin this revitalization.”

Click here to read the Your Hub story

After a three-month closure to replace the roofs on the Phillips Center Building, four nonprofit organizations that provide important services to the local community moved back into the nonprofit center that sits on an entire city block of the Cole neighborhood.

“The re-opening of Phillips Center, with the recent $500,000 of improvements to the buildings, is a long-term investment ensuring that important community services are available to the Cole neighborhood and other Denver residents,” said Aaron Miripol, President and CEO of Urban Land Conservancy.

The four nonprofits currently working in the Phillips Center are:
Early Excellence Program Denver is a four-star, Qualistar-rated child care and early education program that primarily serves children and families in the Cole neighborhood. The program offers high-quality educational services for 80 children two to five years old. For more information, go to
The Denver Green Jobs Initiative provides free job training, supportive services and job placement assistance to help residents of the 80205 zip code launch careers in Colorado’s high-growth green industries, including Solar Energy Technology, Green Construction, Energy Efficiency and Weatherization, and Green Jobs Administration and Sales. Mi Casa Resource Center is the lead agency on the Denver Green Jobs Initiative project, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information, go to
cityWILD provides low income, culturally diverse youth with outdoor and environmental service learning opportunities. For more information, go to
Civic Canopy promotes more effective ways to solve civic challenges through community dialogues, collaborative projects, and communication among network partners. For more information, go to

Tennyson Center buy back


By John Rebchook


Tennyson Center for Children today purchased its city block operation at West 29th Avenue and Tennyson Street in northwest Denver from the non-profit Urban Land Conservancy. The center paid the same price that the ULC paid five years ago to save the center.  In other words, the ULC did not seek to make a profit on the sale.

The ULC is a supporting organization of The Denver Foundation. Based on an innovative model in which ULC purchases urban assets in order to maintain, preserve or redevelop them for community benefit, ULC purchased the one-block, 4.12 acre campus in April 2005 for $4.45 million and has now re-sold it to TCC for that same amount.

Saved at the 11th hour

In 2005 TCC received two weeks’ notice that its property was being put up for auction when its parent organization filed for bankruptcy, threatening the ability of TCC to continue its 100-year tradition of providing treatment services and a school for abused and neglected children.

Founding members of ULC oversaw the purchase of the TCC property at the auction. ULC then leased the property back to TCC with a 30-year lease so that operations could continue uninterrupted and without fear of further instability about the property.

In order to complete the current transaction, TCC implemented a successful capital campaign which is still in progress. A bridge loan will be used until the full $4.45 million goal is achieved. Although ULC’s lease terms were generous, today’s closing will save TCC $26,000 monthly by alleviating monthly rent payments which can be redirected to serve the children.

Rent money

“We still have a lot of work to do, but it is wonderful to have full ownership of the property,” said Bob Cooper, president and CEO of TCC. “We will need to continue to work hard to raise the final dollars needed, but ownership will mean that funds previously spent on rent can now go to direct services for our children.”

TCC agreed as part of the purchase that for 89 years, if TCC sells the property, it will be sold to another non-profit entity with an education-focused mission.

“The purchase and preservation of Tennyson was completed without taxpayer dollars and is a great example of how ULC maintains vital community real estate,” said Aaron Miripol, CEO and president of ULC. “Our work with TCC is a positive homegrown model for nonprofit real estate relationships.  Based on the success with Tennyson, we are looking to expand on this model with other nonprofits.”

The Urban Land Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that uses real estate as a tool to benefit urban communities. ULC purchases, preserves and develops land for urban assets such as workforce housing, nonprofit office space and schools. ULC currently has partnered in 11 real estate transactions which include the Phillips Center, which provides nonprofit office space in the Cole neighborhood; the Jody Apartments next to the future Sheridan light rail station in west Denver; and the former Holly Shopping Center in Park Hill.  For more information:

Tennyson Center for Children works with children, youth and their families to overcome a variety of life crises including abuse and neglect.  TCC is also a leading force within the Rocky Mountain region in the fight to end child abuse.   For more information:

Holly Square was recently featured in the Denver Daily News. Click the link below to see a recent article regarding the latest happenings at the Northeast Park Hill site.

Denver Daily News

Major Planning Grants Awarded To Denver
Denver Community Planning & Development; Urban Land Conservancy; Denver Housing Authority; Enterprise Community Loan Fund; RTD; Reconnecting America …

City and County of Denver Community Planning and – Federal Housing …
The Denver TOD Program (Transit Oriented Development) – Strategic … Inc., the Urban Land Conservancy, Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver …

The recent study entitled “The Economic Impact of LIHTC Development Along Transit Corridors in Metro Denver” put together by a partnership between Urban Land Conservancy and the National Association of Home Builders was featured in the national Novoco & Co Journal of Tax Credits for September. Read the article.

The article was subsequently described in a local Houston news source, available here.

Contact: Josh Burdick, ULC
(303) 377.4477

Kim Calomino, HBA
(303) 551-6733

National Housing Expert Presents Study on the Economic Impact of Affordable Housing Along Transit Corridors in Metro Denver

Denver, CO—Affordable housing built with low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) creates millions of dollars in local income, taxes, and local jobs for the Denver metro area, according to a study done by Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Dr. Eisenberg presented the study results to public policy makers and other housing advocates at a breakfast today hosted by the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) and the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver (HBA).

Dr. Eisenberg’s study looks at the impact of building new LIHTC apartments in a 10-county Denver Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and primarily along transit corridors. The 10-county MSA includes Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Douglas, Broomfield, Elbert, Park, Clear Creek, and Gilpin.

Dr. Eisenberg identified the first year, direct and indirect, local economic impacts as $57.6 million in local income, $5.0 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 732 local jobs. These impacts represent income and jobs for residents in the study area, and taxes (and other sources of revenue, including permit fees) for all local jurisdictions in the MSA.

Dr. Eisenberg estimated the annually recurring economic impact beyond the first year at $16.7 million in local income, $2.3 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 192 local jobs. These impacts are the result of the new apartments being occupied and residents paying taxes and otherwise participating in the local economy year after year. It also includes the effect of increased property taxes.

“Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are an important resource for creating affordable housing in the United States,” said Dr. Eisenberg. “As the study indicates, this type of housing not only provides enormous benefit to the residents, but it is an ongoing economic stimulus in terms of jobs and local income to the surrounding community as well.”

Central to how the real estate community thinks about affordable housing is the $6.5 billion, 119 mile, and 60-station expansion of Denver MSA’s light rail system over the next 20 years. To better understand affordable housing in the context of transit, 92% of the apartments in the study data were taken from developments within ½ mile of light rail or ¼ mile of rapid bus transit, otherwise known as “Transit-Oriented Development” (TOD).

“The focus on development around transit stops is especially important,” said Aaron Miripol, President and CEO of ULC. “The demand for affordable housing around transit stops will continue to grow, and understanding the economic impact of building LIHTC housing near transit is critical for policy makers, housing advocates and other community leaders.”

“Particularly as the economy continues to struggle, this study couldn’t be more timely,” notes Roger Reinhardt, Executive Vice President of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver. “Dr. Eisenberg’s study makes clear the vital role of the housing industry in generating local income and jobs and local government revenue. Creating vibrant communities along transit corridors with a mix of housing types, including affordable housing, will benefit the local economy as well as the residents who will live, work and recreate within the community while having transit access the broader metro area.”

NAHB developed the model to estimate the economic impact of home building in 1996. The model has been used to estimate the impact of construction in over 600 projects, local jurisdictions, metropolitan areas, non-metropolitan counties, and states across the country.

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program was created by Congress in 1986 as part of the federal Tax Reform Act. It is designed to incentivize private sector investment in affordable housing construction and rehabilitation. In return for the equity received through the sale of the housing tax credits, developers agree to income and rent restrictions on the units being constructed or preserved, with the units targeted to residents who earn 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or less. [1] The investor receives a dollar-for-dollar credit against federal income tax liability, taken over a ten-year period. All states have passed laws that require LIHTC units to remain affordable for 30 or more years.

In Colorado, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) is the state allocating agency for the LIHTC program. CHFA awards the housing tax credits, on a competitive basis, to developers of multifamily affordable rental housing.

The Home Builders Association of Metro Denver (HBA) commissioned this study in partnership with local non-profit the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC). HBA represents businesses involved in the residential development, construction and remodeling industry in the eight-county Denver metro region. The mission of the HBA is to improve its members’ ability to responsibly meet the housing needs of the community for a better quality of life. The HBA web site is

ULC is a nonprofit organization that uses real estate as a tool to benefit urban communities. ULC’s mission is to acquire, develop, and preserve community assets in urban areas for a variety of community needs such as affordable housing, schools, and office space for nonprofits. The ULC web site is

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) provided data for this study and was a sponsor of the presentation today. CHFA’s mission is to increase the availability of affordable, decent, and accessible housing for lower income Coloradans and strengthen the state’s economy by providing financial assistance to businesses. The CHFA web site is

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a trade association that helps promote the policies that make housing a national priority. Since 1942, NAHB has been serving its members, the housing industry, and the public at large.


[1] In the Denver Metro area, in 2010, a family of four earning 60% AMI would have a household income of $45,540. The income and rent restrictions are enforced through a Land Use Restriction Agreement (LURA) that is recorded against the property.