Policy Bits ~ 3 Things to Know & Watch This Week
May 2-8, 2016 ~ Karly Malpiede AndrusPolicy-Bits050216


Lawmakers aim to Stop Challenges to Metro Tax Districts that Worry Developers

  • A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that would prohibit legal challenges to the qualifications of special district electors in all past elections. The proposal would deem all of the special electors created in special district elections up until April 21, 2016 and in the upcoming May 3 special district elections as eligible and would consider all of elections since 1981 valid. The bill is a reaction the Colorado Court of Appeals ruling earlier this month on the Landmark Towers Association v. UMB Bank case, which upheld the positon a group of Landmark condo owners that the creation of the Marin Metropolitan District was created by ineligible electors and that legitimate property owners were cut out of the process. The ruling put bond transfers, bankers and real estate lawyers on edge and lawyers who helped craft SB 16-207 called the situation urgent, others feel the ruling was narrow and the bill is not needed. http://goo.gl/iXnpfG
  • The ruling put an immediate chill on bond activity, the fear being that special district electors created long ago by the same mechanism would be challenged in court. Although, some argue the ruling is very narrow. Either way this affects our community as well as overall climate for redevelopment because special taxing districts are often used to pay for infrastructure costs.


Defining The Gap: The NLIHC Affordable Housing Gap Analysis for 2016 is Out

  • In 2016 the first funds from the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) will be distributed, Colorado should get ~$3M. This report documents the acute shortage of housing affordable to extremely low income households, discusses causes and examines the potential impact of greater investment in the NHTF for ELI renters. Extremely Low Income (ELI) households are those with an income of 30% AMI or less, which equates to $16,830 for an individual or $24,030 for a family of 4 in Denver. http://goo.gl/PIrXUj
  • This data can be very helpful to local partners as we explore these issues and try to make the case for the needed resources to bridge this gap.


Mental Health Center of Denver Utilizes Social Impact Bonds to Serve Homeless

  • A new Social Impact Bond (SIB) program will help finance permanent supportive housing for 60 formerly homeless individuals. The Mental Health Center of Denver is developing the project, Sanderson Apartments, as part of a Housing First model. SIBs are an innovative financing tool that will allow Denver to use fund from private investors to hose and serve chronically homeless individuals who use expensive resources of last resort like emergency rooms and detox facilities to the tune of $7M per year. Sometimes referred to as pay for success plans, repayment to investors is contingent upon achieving certain program targets. http://goo.gl/bzwW3Q
  • This tale from the field shows how thinking outside of the box can achieve new resources.