Colorado City Could Mandate More Affordable Housing

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Longmont City Council preliminarily approved an ordinance that would mandate 12% of the livable square footage in a new residential development be dedicated to units affordable to low- and moderate-income home buyers and renters.

Home buyers making 80 percent of the area median income and renters making 60 percent of the area median income can afford these units.

The ordinance still needs final council approval.

In many “big cities” in the United States, housing costs force some low-income and Latino families to make difficult financial decisions, new initiatives like these must be promoted in many cities.

Longmont, Colo., has a population of 90,719 people with a median age of 36.9 and a median household income of $62,847. Longmont has 26% Latino population. The employment in Longmont, CO grew at a rate of 1.42%.

The Latino Chamber of Commerce of Boulder County is located in Longmont and many initatives are made for creating a Latino business district.

Affordable Housing and Latino Health

Access to affordable, safe housing is a priority for maintaining good health.

Access to housing protects families from the natural elements, and promotes feelings of security that can reduce stress. Affordable housing located near safe parks, full-service grocery stores, and living-wage employment helps to build community and encourages healthy eating and exercise.

Yet, 50 years after the federal Fair Housing Act banned racial discrimination in lending, Latinos and Blacks continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans more so than Whites.

In addition, less than 20% of apartments are affordable for middle-income Latino renters in many cities in United States.

Many renters struggle to pay the rent. More than half of Black and Latino households in major cities across the country are rent-burdened. They spend more than 30% of their incomes on housing.

In cities like San Francisco, Latino renters on average have to spend nearly 75% of their income on rent.

Hence, Latinos and Blacks are twice as likely as whites to be affected by the housing crisis.

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