Despite being an 8th generation Coloradan, Chris can’t afford to buy a home in Weld County. With both undergraduate and graduate degrees, and even though he has made smart financial decisions, Chris isn’t achieving the American Dream of home ownership. The rapid growth in the cost of housing and a market favoring sellers has made it impossible to make a competitive offer. Recently, Chris was outbid by someone offering $70,000 above asking price—in cash.
The result of numerous factors, Weld County is facing a cost of housing crisis.
- From 2010 to 2019, median gross rent increased by nearly 41% in Weld County, while the median household income increased by only 33%.
- Among renter households, nearly half pay 35% or more of their total income on housing, making them financially unstable.
- In 2020, 14% of Weld County residents expressed that they were usually or always worried about having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage.
- In May 2022, the median sales price of homes in Weld County was $507,036, a 13.5% increase from May 2021 when the price was $446,900, which in turn was a 26% increase from May 2020 when owning a home cost $375,000.
Furthermore, as the county with the highest projected annual population growth in Colorado, the state demographer estimates that Weld County’s population will increase from 324,492 in 2019 to 548,183 by 2040, nearly doubling in the next 20 years. Will the number of homes available also double?
The Thriving Weld Housing and Land Use Project increases affordable housing options for Weld County residents by engaging the community in working with municipalities to modify land-use codes and implement policies that increase affordable housing options. Weld County residents making between 30% and 120% of the area median income (AMI) are the primary participants. Over 50% of the Weld County workforce falls in this range, including employees in the retail, education, arts, entertainment, food services, agriculture, construction, real estate, government, wholesale trade, professional and technical services and mining industries.
Staff will be performing outreach in 18 Weld County municipalities through:
- Education sessions on Weld County housing needs and the project.
- Community member listening sessions on their experiences with housing unaffordability and potential solutions.
Additionally, civic engagement trainings are held in each municipality to build advocacy skills, such as:
- Background on municipal politics.
- Learning how to contact elected officials.
- Discovering meeting times, locations, and agendas.
- Practicing community meeting etiquette.
- Developing and giving presentations at municipal governance meetings.
- Other ways to get involved with municipal boards and commissions.
“With all the data on rising housing costs and its impact on residents, it was easy to decide to focus on policy, systems, and environmental changes that can help alleviate the high cost of housing. The Thriving Weld Housing and Land Use Project gives Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment and United Way of Weld County the opportunity to work with partners and municipalities to identify solutions to address the lack of affordable housing in Weld County.”Olivia Egen, Public Health Initiatives Supervisor,
Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment
- Alaina Kelley, United Way Housing Equity Coordinator – 970-473-1879
- Michelle Francies, Weld County Housing and Land Use Coordinator – 970-400-2400