Colorado lacking housing affordability, pair of reports show

Robert Davis
The Center Square - Colorado
D&D Mobile Home Park, 780 Blue River Parkway, is pictured Monday, Nov. 1, 2021 in Silverthorne. The land on which the mobile home park sits was sold, and residents had to be out by June 2022. Summit County community leaders had previously voiced concern that the removal of these units would take away much-needed affordable and attainable housing for locals.
Lindsey Toomer/Summit Daily News archive

COLORADO — Colorado is facing mounting housing affordability issues when consumers continue to deal with rising inflation, a pair of separate reports released on Thursday indicate.

For renters, Colorado ranks as the eighth most expensive state, according to one report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which also estimated renters need to earn an average of almost $29 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment, up from $27.50 in 2021. People earning the state’s minimum wage of $12.56 need to work at least 75 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom apartment as well, the report said. 

“Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying financial hardships have underlined and exacerbated the housing unaffordability faced by the nation’s lowest-income renters,” the report concluded. 

According to the report, there are more than 720,000 renter households in Colorado, or approximately 34% of the total households in the state. The fair market rent in Colorado for a two-bedroom apartment has climbed to $1,505 per month including utilities. That’s up from the fair market rent of $1,430 that NILHC measured in 2021. 

In order to afford this level of rent, workers must earn approximately $5,016 monthly to avoid becoming housing burdened, which is defined as paying more than 30% of one’s monthly income on rent and utilities, report said. 


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