Proposition 123: Should Colorado set aside nearly $300 million each year for affordable housing? |

Proposition 123: Should Colorado set aside nearly $300 million each year for affordable housing?

Proponents of the measure say it would help the state tackle one of its biggest problems, but naysayers worry about how it would affect the state budget and TABOR refunds

Tatiana Flowers
The Colorado Sun
Supperters cheer as Denise Maes of Maes Solutions makes a point during a news conference to launch a campaign for an affordable housing measure on the November general election ballot, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Aurora, Colo. The measure, which is named Make Colorado Affordable, would put up to 0.1 percent of the state's existing taxable income toward solving the housing crisis that affects all parts of the Centennial State.
David Zalubowski/AP

Proposition 123 is an effort to tackle Colorado’s affordable housing crisis by allocating nearly $300 million each year in existing tax revenue to help local governments and nonprofits work on the issue.

The measure on the November ballot comes as affordable housing has become one of the state’s most pressing problems. A local survey recently estimated that metro Denver’s homeless population grew 12.8% in the last two years. And a gap between Black and white homeowners in Colorado has continued to widen since 1970. A Colorado Health Foundation poll also recently found that 86% of Coloradans think the cost of housing is an “extremely serious” problem.

The measure wouldn’t raise taxes, but it could eat into the state budget in some years and in other years would reduce Coloradans’ Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refunds.

Proposition 123 would set aside up to 0.1% of taxable income each year for affordable housing. That’s estimated to be $145 million in the current fiscal year — which ends June 30, 2023 — and $290 million in 2023-24 and subsequent fiscal years. 

The measure would give grants and loans to local governments and nonprofits to acquire and preserve land for affordable housing development. Funds from Proposition 123 would help develop affordable multifamily rental units, increase homeownership rates in the state and provide down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers. It would also address homelessness by providing rental assistance and eviction defense programs, proponents said.


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