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Housing Strategic Plan

Housing Strategic Plan Update#

Since the fall of 2020, the City has been updating the Housing Strategic Plan that guides housing policy, sets housing goals, and creates a framework for City investments in the housing system. Over the next month, many people will be working diligently on drafting and finalizing the new plan while incorporating community feedback – adoption is planned for February 2021.

Click the link below the watch an interview with Senior City Planner, Meaghan Overton, to learn more about what a Housing Strategic Plan does and how this version will differ from previous versions.

Understand the Basics of the Housing Strategic Plan

What We Heard from the Community#

Draft Housing Strategic Plan#

The Draft Housing Strategic Plan is now available! This draft includes the recently released Priority Strategies as well as information about how these strategies were prioritized, what guiding principles are leading this work, and what next steps will be part of Implementation.

Click the link below to view the entire Draft Housing Strategic Plan.

Draft Housing Strategic Plan PDF

Priority Strategieshighlight_off
Strategy Brief Description Community Feedback

1. Assess displacement and gentrification risk.

 

Map that illustrates the threat of displacement and gentrification at the neighborhood level

The Council Ad Hoc Committee identified this strategy as a possible "quick(er) win".

 

+ While the community did not directly reference this, there were multiple references to no longer being able to afford to live in Fort Collins.

2. Promote inclusivity, housing diversity, and affordability as community values. Prioritize practices that include storytelling and culturally appropriate engagement with a broad range of communities, especially those that are considered historically marginalized and underrepresented. Engagement should focus on issues related to density, structural racism, and myths about affordable housing, etc.

+ Combat stigmas associated with affordable housing

+ Build community-wide support for doing things differently  

3. Implement the 2020 Analysis of Fair Housing Choice Action Steps. (1) Strengthen fair housing information, educational and training opportunities. (2) Improve the housing environments for people with disabilities. (3) Support efforts to improve residents' establishment and building of credit. (4) Support programs, projects, and organizations that improve housing access and affordability. (5) Continue to pursue infrastructure and public engagement activities to inform Land Use Code and policy updates through Home2Health.

+ Focus financial support on lowest income residents

+ Ensure all neighborhoods have access to amenities

+ Increase equity in existing programs and services

Strategy Brief Description Community Feedback
4. Implementation, tracking, and assessment of housing strategies.

Regularly assess existing housing policies and programs to ensure they are effective, equitable, and aligned with vision. Develop real‐time, accessible, and performance‐based data that evaluates the performance of these strategies and their progress toward the vision.

+ Increase equity in existing programs and services

Consult with BIPOC and low-income households on housing policy and programs

5. Advocate for housing-related legislation at state and federal levels. 

Possible focus areas: monitor and support state level renter protection legislation, advocate for additional housing funding, explore eviction protections and the option of pausing evictions in times of crisis.

Advocate for limits on rent prices and/or annual rent increases

Provide emergency gap funding to prevent eviction
6. Visitability policy. Allows easy visitation by mobility impaired residents in a portion/percentage of units in new housing developments.

Build community-wide support for doing things differently

Increase equity in existing programs and services

7. Remove barriers to the development of Accessory Dwelling Units.

Remove Land Use Code barriers and create more incentives for revamping existing housing/neighborhoods.

Explore new housing types, including tiny homes and cooperative housing

Relax restrictions in the Land Use Code to make it easier for developers to build new homes  

8. Extend the city’s affordability term.

The City’s current affordability term for projects receiving City funding or incentives is 20 years but many cities use longer terms, commonly 30 up to 60 years, to keep inventory affordable for longer.

Build community-wide support for doing things differently
9. Off-cycle appropriation to advance Phase One of the Land Use Code (LUC) Audit.

Defines additional housing types; creates opportunity to increase overall supply; recalibrates incentives for affordable housing production; identifies opportunities to add to existing incentives; refines and simplifies development processes

Explore opportunities to limit fees associated with housing

Remove or relax regulations that limit creative reuse of existing homes

Strategy Brief Description Community Feedback
10. Refine local affordable housing goal. Set more specific housing goals by income level so that it is easier to track progress and communicate our housing goals to developers. + Incentivize developers to build affordable housing
11. Create a new dedicated revenue stream to fund the Affordable Housing Fund. Create a fee or tax that generates money for the Affordable Housing Fund. This would allow the City to support additional affordable housing development and rehabilitation. + Incentivize developers to build affordable housing
12. Expand partnership(s) with local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to offer gap financing and low cost loan pool for affordable housing development. A loan pool and gap financing for affordable housing projects that need additional financial support to be viable. + Incentivize developers to build affordable housing
13. Recalibrate existing incentives to reflect current market conditions (existing incentives include fee waivers, fee deferral, height bonus, density bonus, reduced landscaping, priority processing). Alter incentives for affordable housing development so developers are motivated to use them based on market conditions. + Incentivize developers to build affordable housing
14. Create additional development incentives for affordable housing. Add more incentives to develop affordable housing in the Land Use Code so that we can increase the supply of affordable housing. + Incentivize developers to build affordable housing
Strategy Brief Description Community Feedback
15. Explore/address financing barriers to missing middle development. Collaborate with developers to understand financing barriers for missing middle projects and consider partnerships with financial institutions to address these barriers

+ Incentivize developers to build affordable housing

Relax restrictions in the Land Use Code to make it easier for developers to build new homes

16. Remove barriers to allowed densities through code revisions. Revisit or remove barriers in code that limit the number of multifamily units, have square footage requirements for secondary or non-residential buildings and height limitations restricting the ability to maximize compact sites using tuck-under parking

Explore new housing types, including tiny homes and cooperative housing

Build more duplexes and small multifamily units

Remove or relax regulations that limit creative reuse of existing homes

Relax restrictions in the Land Use Code to make it easier for developers to build new homes

Strategy Brief Description Community Feedback
17. Reconsider affordable housing requirements/funding as part of metro districts.

Consider requirement that Metropolitan Districts containing housing must provide affordable housing.

+ Incentivize developers to build affordable housing
18. Increase awareness & opportunities for collaboration across water districts and other regional partners around the challenges with water costs and housing.

Fort Collins has multiple water providers and the cost of water is different in each district. This collaboration could result in more consistent water prices across districts.

+ Incentivize developers to build affordable housing

19. Bolster city land bank activity by allocating additional funding to the program (contingent on adopting additional revenue stream policy).

The Land Bank program sets aside land for affordable housing development. This would allow the City to purchase more land to add to the Land Bank.

+ Incentivize developers to build affordable housing
Strategy Brief Description Community Feedback

20. Explore the option of a mandated rental license/registry program for long‐term rentals and pair with best practice rental regulations.

Can result in landlord education (fair housing or other), standardized lease agreements in English and Spanish, application fee reasonableness requirements, and health & safety rental inspections.

+ Explore rental licensing to promote safe and healthy housing

Increase equity in existing programs and services

21. Explore revisions to occupancy limits and family definitions.

Occupancy limits and narrow family definitions often create unintended constraints on housing choice and options, including cooperative housing opportunities for seniors and people with disabilities desiring to live with unrelated adults in a single family home setting.

Remove or relax occupancy restrictions

Increase equity in existing programs and services

22. Public Sector Right of First Refusal for Affordable Developments.

Typically requires owners of affordable housing to notify the public sector of intent to sell or redevelop property and allow period of potential purchase by public sector or non‐profit partner.

Bolster nonprofits providing “housing first” models of support

Focus financial support on lowest income residents

23. Tenant right of first refusal for cooperative ownership of multifamily or manufactured housing community.

Laws that give tenants the right to purchase a rental unit or complex (including a manufactured housing community) before the owner puts it on the market or accepts an offer from another potential buyer.

Explore opportunities for resident-owned manufactured housing communities

Explore new housing types, including tiny homes and cooperative housing

24. Support community organizing efforts in manufactured home communities and access to resident rights information.

Continue and expand existing efforts to work with residents and nonprofit community partners to address the critical need for programs focused on manufactured housing livability and safety, preservation of these as an affordable housing option, and equitable access to City resources in historically underserved neighborhoods and populations.

Explore opportunities for resident-owned manufactured housing communities

Preserve manufactured housing communities

25. Foreclosure and eviction prevention and legal representation.

Provides assistance with mortgage debt restructuring and mortgage and/or utilities payments to avoid foreclosure; short‐term emergency rent and utilities assistance for renters. CARES Act funding is currently dedicated to a legal defense fund for renters but additional resources are needed.

The Council Ad Hoc Committee identified this strategy as a possible "quick(er) win".

Provide emergency gap funding to prevent eviction

Increase equity in existing programs and services

26. Small landlord incentives.

Incentivize small landlords to keep units affordable for a period of time in exchange for subsidized rehabilitation or tax or fee waivers.

Advocate for limits on rent prices and/or annual rent increases

Explore rental licensing to promote safe and healthy housing

Related Efforts Brief Description Community Feedback

Continue the City's ongoing efforts to implement recommendations from current housing-related studies and other City efforts. (LUC Audit, Fair Housing Analysis, Homeward 2020, 2015‐2019 Affordable Housing Strategic Plan) 

This work acknowledges that continuing the City’s existing efforts (as will be noted in the full plan chapter) is critical for achieving the City’s goals and achieving the vision. This includes continuing to prioritize direct funding to the lowest‐income residents.

+ Focus financial support on lowest income residents  

Bolster nonprofits providing supportive housing services 

Preserve manufactured housing communities

Bolster nonprofits providing “housing first” models of support 

Provide emergency gap funding to prevent eviction

Continue to align housing work with other departmental plans and programs to leverage more funding resources and achieve citywide goals that advance the triple bottom line of economic, environmental, and social sustainability (could include citywide disparity study).

As housing impacts every aspect of the community, integrating this work across the triple bottom line to leverage funds, reduce redundancies, and align toward multiple city goals is critical to success. 

Build community‐wide support for doing things differently 

Seek out innovative ideas from the community and peer cities

Increase equity in existing programs and services

Want to learn more about how housing policy is created?#

Want to learn more about how housing policy is created?

Click the link below to view the Housing Policy 101 infographic. This is a step-by-step guide created to be an accessible resource for the community in understanding the development of housing policy in the City of Fort Collins Housing Strategic Plan.

Housing Policy 101

Next Steps#

December 8

At the City Council Work Session, staff shared progress on the Housing Strategic Plan and asked Council for support to consider funding the first phase of updating the City’s Land Use Code. You can review all the materials presented to Council here, or watch the recording (the Housing Strategic Plan update starts around 4 hours, 11 minutes in). 

December 18

The first three sections of the Draft Housing Strategic Plan were published. You can view these sections HERE.

January 7

The draft Priority Strategies along with the complete Housing Strategic Plan Fall 2020 Engagement Report were published.

January 7-27

Public Comment Period for the Priority Strategies and Draft Housing Strategic Plan.

January 13

The public draft of the Housing Strategic Plan is published for community input.

January 26

At the City Council Work Session, staff will share the outcomes of initial strategy prioritization, draft plan indicators & guiding principles, finalized scope for Land Use Code updates, and additional quick(er) wins as identified by the Ad Hoc Committee.

February 16

City Council will consider adopting the Housing Strategic Plan (first reading).

Resource Library#

Want to check out our Housing Document Library?highlight_off
Document Description
DRAFT Housing Strategic Plan (2021)

NEWLY RELEASED! The Housing Strategic Plan guides housing policy, sets housing goals, and creates a framework for City investments in the housing system.

Housing Strategic Plan Engagement Report (2021)

In October and November of 2020, nearly 450 community members took the time to share their experiences, provide feedback, and brainstorm solutions to the housing challenges in Fort Collins. This report sums up this early community feedback.

Home2Health Community Guides Summary Report for Phase 2 and 3 (2020)

This report synthesizes the comments from members of the Fort Collins community who engaged in conversations during Phases 2 and 3 of the Home2Health Community Guide project. 

Partnership for Age Friendly Communities Fall 2020 Engagement Report (2020)

The Housing Priority Group for the Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities conducted four focus groups in the fall of 2020 to address Home2Health Year Two Bottom-Line Questions designed to assess the quality of housing for older adults in Fort Collins. Group discussions were held with older adults who reside in subsidized housing, a mobile home park and members of a senior citizen group (Grand Families).

Housing Policy 101 (2020)

This is a step-by-step guide created to be an accessible resource for the community in understanding the development of housing policy in the City of Fort Collins Housing Strategic Plan.

Affordable Housing Strategic Plan (2015) This plan sets forth goals, strategies, action items, and metrics to guide the City's affordable housing policy and funding for a 5 year period. This plan is the City's fourth 5-year Affordable Housing Strategic Plan.
Affordable Housing Infographic Summary (2020) This is a high-level overview of the state of affordable housing today compared to our 2020 Affordable Housing goals set in the 2015 plan.
Land Use Code Audit (2019) This audit process was initiated by the City to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in the Land Use Code as they relate to City Plan policy direction. This audit reflects the results of discussions with City staff and stakeholders who use the Land Use Code on a regular basis--e.g., local architects, planners, and landscape architects, builders, and housing organizations--as we well as the consultant's review of the current Land Use Code.
Housing Plan Existing Conditions Assessment (2020) The purpose of this assessment is to better understand the current state of housing in Fort Collins. Whereas previous iterations of the Housing Strategic Plan focused solely on affordable housing, this iteration will articulate goals, objectives, and strategies for the entire housing spectrum. 
Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (2020) This analysis is a study of barriers to housing choice in our community. This document contains information about fair housing law, a community profile, a review of public policy and land use code, fair housing complaint information, results of a community survey on housing choice, and finally a list of identified impediments with an action plan.
Social Sustainability Gaps Analysis (2020) This report is intended to provide a summary of current trends in the Fort Collins community, related to various components of social sustainability, including but not limited to housing, homelessness, poverty, health, wellness, education, diversity, and the needs of special populations.
Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) Feasibility Study and Impact Fee Nexus Study (2020) This feasibility study examined housing and economic conditions in the City to make a recommendation of whether or not an inclusionary housing ordinance (IHO) or linkage fee program would be viable tools for increasing the City's supply of affordable housing.

Home2Health Partnership#

Want to learn more ways to get involved?highlight_off

Check out the Home2Health OurCity page!#

Check out the Home2Health OurCity page!

To create a housing plan that works for Fort Collins, we need to hear from as many people as possible! How much time do you have to help create a more healthy, stable, and affordable community? Even if you only have a few minutes, your input matters. 

Check out the Home2Health OurCity page for more opportunities to participate!

ourcity.fcgov.com/Home2Health