Fair planned to connect Arvadans to housing resources

The housing resource fair will be Sept. 29

Posted 8/31/18

Arvadans for Progressive Action, a citizen volunteer group, hopes to connect Arvadans struggling with housing to resources available to them at a housing resource fair scheduled for Sept. 29. A …

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Fair planned to connect Arvadans to housing resources

The housing resource fair will be Sept. 29

Posted

Arvadans for Progressive Action, a citizen volunteer group, hopes to connect Arvadans struggling with housing to resources available to them at a housing resource fair scheduled for Sept. 29.

A variety of community organizations and government agencies, including the city of Arvada, will be in attendance to answer housing questions regarding topics such as: financial help for essential home repairs; assistance locating affordable rents/housing assistance; building an accessory dwelling unit; making homes safe and accessible for seniors who wish to age in place; home sharing for seniors who wish to age in place, and financial assistance for qualifying first time homebuyers.

A commonly accepted maxim is that housing is “affordable” if it requires no more than one-third of the household’s income to pay for it. As in many of Colorado’s Front Range municipalities, Arvada’s housing prices are out of reach for many households.

The city of Arvada uses the term “attainable” as opposed to “affordable” housing to emphasize the broad range of incomes and household types who make up the demand for this housing, such as seniors on fixed incomes, recent graduates, single-parent households, low-wage working households and others.

The resource fair is a place to connect those residents with resources that can help them.

“We realized a number of programs were already in place to help people and very few people knew about them,” said Mindy Mohr, who is leading the event.

One reason why Edward Talbot, executive director of the Arvada Housing Authority said its particularly important to get this information to the public now is the issue of affordability when it relates to home prices and rental costs.

A recent study that focused on workforce and senior housing in Arvada found that in of April 2017, there were 190 homes currently for sale in Arvada, 22 of which less than $300,000. That’s less than 12 percent of homes for sale in Arvada.

The study also found that for renters, Arvada is becoming less affordable over time — over the past decade, rent has increased 22 percent. The number of units affordable to poor households also decreased during this time.

For Talbot, two major things came out of the collaborative study with the University of Colorado. The first was that seniors want to age in place. The second was that there were major barriers for people who work in Arvada to live there.

“When you match the average income for people like teachers, police officers, bank tellers — people trying to work here in Arvada — there is a larger disparity now,” Talbot said.

Arvadans for Progressive Action has partnered with the city of Arvada to put on the housing fair and continue to bring awareness to the need for attainable housing within the city.

“To me part of being a progressive is working for those who are most marginalized or vulnerable,” said Rachael Smallwood, leader of Arvadans for Progressive Action. “We see it as an injustice that people who are contributing to our community can’t afford to live here, so we want to work on spreading the word of what people can do to get access to affordable places to live right here in Arvada.”

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