Oversight of Denver's affordable housing program has dwindled in the past decade

Posted at 10:45 AM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-09 12:44:59-04

DENVER — Denver city officials looked ahead with optimism in the early 2000s as developers selling the first batches of income-restricted houses, townhouses and condos in new communities jump-started a nascent affordable homeownership program.

But that optimism came with a big assumption of responsibility on the city’s part. For most of the homes, the city took on the role in private sales, and later resales, of verifying the buyers’ income eligibility, calculating the allowed below-market sales prices and, perhaps most important, creating a centralized record-keeping system to track the fast-growing stock of homes in the program.

“There’s no obvious person or new industry to oversee everything that needs to be managed,” Jacky Morales-Ferrand, then the city’s director of housing and neighborhood development services, told The Denver Post in a May 2004 story. “That’s why we’re stepping in.”

Today, the city still is supposed to play those roles to ensure compliance with the rules of the program.

But in hundreds of instances, it hasn’t. Over the past decade, compliance staffing for the program dwindled to just one person, and notifications to owners of homes in the program were sent out only three times from 2007 to 2017.

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