Housing Policy Update

Housing Policy Update Overview

The purpose of this process is to define affordable housing policy recommendations for the City of Cortez. Through this process, we will be developing policy recommendations and including them in a Housing Action Plan that focuses on community-driven and community-supported housing goals, objectives and policies/tools for the City of Cortez to implement over the next 5 to 10 years.

Our work together with the Housing Policy Steering Committee and the Cortez Community will develop an Action Plan that represents a balanced approach to community housing that fits with the unique needs of Cortez, including:

  • Identifying and prioritizing specific community housing needs;
  • Setting goals and objectives to target needs;
  • Exploring various available tools to address identified housing needs;
  • Prioritizing tools and developing strategies to implement those tools; and
  • Assigning responsibilities and a timeline for implementation.

The Housing Action Plan Process Explained

  1. Housing Needs Assessment (complete): The City of Cortez commissioned a recently completed Housing Needs Assessment to understand current housing conditions and provide data to inform solutions to the housing challenges that people in the community are facing. The assessment provides baseline information on local housing needs in Cortez which will frame Action Plan discussions.
  2. Housing Action Plan (this process): This process will identify and develop policy recommendations to address the housing needs in the City of Cortez, with the understanding that “it takes a community to build a community.” Recommendations will encompass not only city initiatives, but also partnerships and actions that organizations and other community stakeholders can take to improve the availability and affordability of local housing.

Management and Monitoring: An important outcome of this process will be to not only identify policies, but to define the steps for management and monitoring of housing action plan implementation and progress over time, including periodic updates of housing needs and policy direction as needed to address changing community and housing market dynamics.

Housing Policy Update Overview-04

Components of Successful Community Housing Action Plans

  • Customized to Community, building upon unique opportunities, and addressing local challenges.
  • Multiple Tools used in combination to create a diverse supply of housing for the spectrum of needs. There is no “silver bullet.” Tools vary in terms of the population they can serve and the type of housing they can provide.
  • An Incremental Approach to implementation that builds upon successes and grows over time as expertise, needs, challenges and opportunities evolve.
  • Fairness with responsibility for the provision of housing broadly shared throughout the community. Both “carrots and sticks” are needed as well as tools that generate broad community support.
  • Well Informed with decisions grounded in up-to-date information on needs, housing market conditions, the economy and demographic trends.
  • Local Funding to fill the gap between housing costs and affordability. Federal, state and foundation grants will likely provide a relatively small portion of the resources needed
  • Expertise and Capacity to Implement and manage over time with skills in site analysis, development, financing, mortgage lending, property management, communication, and regional planning.  Staffing/management needs will grow over time as the number of housing units managed and complexity of tools used increases.
  • Clear Responsibilities assigned and accepted. While no organizational model is superior, supportive local governance participation and leadership is a component of the most successful programs.
  • Community Ownership and Support to generate and maintain political will and counter opposition that will arise to specific sites, planned projects, and new regulations and incentives.
  • Ongoing Education to educate the community about the value of meeting community housing needs, to demonstrate progress, and show success. (or something like this)
  • Political Will that remains strong over time.
  • Adaptable over Time with periodic evaluation and modification based on lessons learned, changing needs, and new opportunities.

Process Schedule  

The detailed Housing Policy Update Project schedule is described below. See here for a schedule overview of the entire Land Use Code and Housing Policy Update Project.

Housing Policy Update Timeline-05