The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority is on its way to a record year of helping low-income families buy homes.
The public enterprise buys and then services loans arranged by its network of more than 100 banks and savings and loans. It has already invested more than $1 billion in that business so far this year, almost double the figure at this point last year.
“Last year was a record year for us and we’re exceeding that this year,” Dan McMahon, CHFA’s home finance director, said Friday
The total last year was just over $2 billion.
Over 90 percent of the buyers also receive downpayment assistance from CHFA.
McMahon said high rents were leading some households to consider buying and others were feeling pressure to buy before sales prices rose up even further.
The number of households served by CHFA’s homebuyer program has increased from 3,462 in 2014 to 8,355 in 2018.
CHFA also distributes state and federal tax credits on a competitive basis. State legislators this past session voted to double the annual aggregate cap from $5 million to $10 million that it can distribute in state low-income housing tax credits beginning next year through 2024. Developers who are awarded credits sell them to investors for cash they then use to build.
Other measures lawmakers adopted this past session bolster the state’s Housing Development Grant Fund, to which developers can apply on a competitive basis for money to acquire, rehabilitate and construct affordable housing projects. One measure capped the amount of sale tax money retailers can keep to cover administrative costs, bringing in about $23 million this fiscal year and about $48 million in the next to the Housing Development Grant Fund. At least a third of the new revenue has been earmarked for projects for households earning no more than 30 percent of the area median income.
Another measure takes money from the treasurer’s unclaimed property trust fund for housing grants to the tune of up to $30 million from fiscal year 2020-21 through 2022-23.
Jerilynn Martinez, CHFA’s director of marketing and community relations, said similar proposals had been made and did not succeed in past years.
“This session, several of them did,” she said, adding CHFA applauded leadership on housing in the General Assembly.