Housing, ADUs, and Vacation Rentals
City of Durango Housing Initiative
Housing remains a top priority for City Council and the City of Durango wants to do their part in helping to address the housing shortage and increase affordable and workforce housing inventory with a variety of mechanisms and strategies. The Housing Initiative serves as the foundation for a housing program within the City of Durango to address the city's housing issues.
The 2022 City of Durango Strategic Plan and Operating Plan outlines short- and mid-term objectives, and identifies various initiatives and strategies including Affordability & Economic Opportunity to "Create housing to enhance multigenerational community workforce, as well as attainable and affordable housing overall."
This led to the creation of the Housing Innovation Division and Housing Innovation Manager position to bring focused effort to addressing the housing crunch currently facing Durango.
- Key functions include assisting in creating, implementing and administering community housing initiatives towards the goal of maintaining and enhancing quality of life in Durango through the creation and support of affordable housing development.
- The Durango 2018 Housing Plan (Plan) also establishes goals, priorities, and implementation measures for the Durango Housing Program and serves as the foundational document for the program.
2022 Area Median Income (often referred to as AMI%)
Employment Growth: Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado tracks employment and economic development in this region. Region employment is expected to exceed 60,000 jobs by 2022, including sole proprietors, according to estimates provided by Region 9 - 2022 Outlook.
Housing Analysis: The Regional Housing Needs Assessment & Strategy Study was completed in the fall of 2021 and examined the cross-dependency of housing supply and demand among jurisdictions in the region. This study took a more regional approach to housing strategies to address needs and La Plata County information includes the City of Durango, Ignacio, and the Town of Bayfield.
- Meeting the unmet housing needs identified in the study were require an average annual development of about 310 units, with all of these units being for permanent residents. Additional units for seasonal and vacation ownership would be in addition to these units.
- Affordable Housing refers to a unit that has a strong, long-term deed restriction or other guarantee that the unit will be occupied by an individual or household earning 80% Area Median Income (AMI) or less.
- Attainable/Workforce Housing refers to a unit that is not necessarily encumbered by a deed limitation but would most likely be considered accessible to someone earning between 80%-120% AMI simply by the nature of the type of development.
- Market Rate Housing refers to a unit that has no deed limitation which means that pricing will fluctuate based on market conditions. Given the fact that no controls will be in place, staff is assuming that these units will be purchased/rented by individuals and households earning 120% of AMI or greater.
La Plata County 3-Year Workforce Housing Investment Strategy (published June 2022 prepared by Project Moxie & Capelli Consulting): This housing investment strategy prioritizes the key steps necessary to maximize the creation of housing affordable to the local workforce across La Plata County. The overarching strategy addresses rental housing, homeownership, a concerted effort to initiate a large-scale housing development the preservation of existing affordable options, and the creation of a local housing fund. Successful execution of the strategy will require coordinated action across jurisdictions and between public and private sectors. This strategy document is a tool to bridge together a network of housing strategies and it is designed for accessibility.
Staff is tracking Current Residential Projects in Review within the City including initial contact inquiries, design in development, plan review/meetings, approved, and under construction/built and the spreadsheet data is updated biannually.* It is preliminary information and is subject to change during the development review process. Staff is also tracking Current Affordable Housing Units within the City of Durango.
Affordable Housing Inventory (# of units)
|Project||Affordable Units||Year of Construction|
|Durango Housing, 510 7th Ave.||16||1971|
|Tamarin Square Apartments||67||1979|
|Merced de Las Animas||50||1998|
|Mercy Housing Colorado VI LTD (Behind Ski Barn)||50||1998|
|Westwood Apartments, 60 Westwood Pl||12||1998|
|Valle de Merced||45||2005|
|Cedar View I and II||53||2006|
|Lumien Phase I||50||2015|
|Lumien Phase II||36||2018|
|VOA Senior Housing||53||2019|
|Mtn. Trace Deed Restrictions||9||2022|
La Plata Economic Development Alliance Housing Catalyst Fund (Spring 2023)
The La Plata Economic Development Alliance (Alliance) Housing Catalyst Fund (Catalyst Fund) is a public private partnership to create seed funding to support below market housing development in La Plata County. The Catalyst Fund was initially funded by donations and grants, and administered by a group of community leaders and housing experts.
Catalyst Fund proceeds may be used for a variety of predevelopment costs, including but not limited to project feasibility studies, environmental studies, engineering, architectural, market studies, options, legal fees, soil studies, site preparation, appraisals, surveys, development consultants and other items associated with determining project feasibility.
City Funding Opportunity (Public-Private/or Public-Non-Profit Partnerships)
- Infrastructure Support Opportunities (for new workforce housing development)
- Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Incentives (create housing options in convenient locations already served by City services)
- Goal: Increasing below-market inventory
Staff is currently working case-by-case with housing developers to better understand the funding complexities and to see if additional grants may be available from federal, state, and local agencies to leverage private investment by contributing to the costs for infrastructure related to the development of new long-term workforce housing. Planning Commission advises staff on program implementation. To learn more: we encourage you to proactively reach out to our Housing Innovation Manager for additional information.
To learn more about additional funding sources, you can visit online Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) - Division of Housing. They offer assistance to developers and local governments in creating more affordable housing through gap funding for acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction projects. They also have programs to prevent homelessness and provide rental assistance.
*These grant, incentive and loan programs are competitive and funding is based on timing, availability and department priorities.*
Animas City Park Overlook Townhomes
A Mixed-Income Residential Development
HomesFund, in partnership with the City of Durango, held a lottery on December 15, 2022, to choose potential buyers for the four income qualified units at Animas City Park Overlook Townhomes development. The project is currently under construction.
The lottery will determine the chronological list of potential buyers for all for income qualified units. Applicants do not need to be present to be selected. HomesFund staff will notify all households in the lottery of their position in the lottery list via email within two full business days of completion of the lottery
Other eligibility requirements may apply, including income verification. Prospective homebuyers are advised to contact HomesFund for more information about these units or the Mortgage Assistance terms and program eligibility. HomesFund can be reached at 970-259-1418, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.homesfund.org, and are located at 150 East 9th Street #207 in Durango.
The development is being constructed in two phases. In phase I, three of the income-qualified units will be ready for sale and occupancy in the Spring of 2023. One income-qualified unit will be completed in phase II and will be ready for sale and occupancy by the end of 2023. The income qualified units will have a reduced price of $399,999. They are similar in size to other units in the development and will have the same finishes as the market rate units. The two income-qualified units in phase I will be a 2-bedroom/2.5-bath unit and a 3-bedroom/2.5 bath unit. For phase II, the remain income-qualifed unit will be a 3-bedroom/2.5 bath.
Questions regarding the size, location, finishes, price, etc. of the units may be directed to the builders, Agave and Reynolds Ash & Associates. the contact information can be found on their website - https://www.agavedurango.com
This walkable, infill residential development consists of 22 townhomes in a very attractive and multi-modal location in the North Main Gateway urban renewal area. Ten of the units will be designated for ownership or rental by our community's workforce! Four units will be available for purchase at a reduced price by households making 120% AMI or less. An additional six units will be occupied as the primary residence of a local worker or long-term resident of the community.
This project is a pioneering and replicable example of how the URA and other community institutions can partner with private sector entities to accomplish community objectives, specifically the creation of vital workforce housingThe Durango Renewal Partnership (URA) wishes to thank the City of Durango, La Plata County, School District 9-R, the Business Improvement District (BID), the Animas Mosquito Control District, SEH Inc., and HomesFund for their crucial contributions to the project. Without all these partners, the project would not be possible.