Hike in retail marijuana tax is part of Denver's plan to turbo-charge its $15 million-a-year affordable housing fund – The Denver Post

Denver marijuana buyers would help pay for an expansion of Denver’s 10-year, $150 million affordable housing fund under a plan that includes borrowing to amp up apartment production.

Mayor Michael Hancock and other city officials have been under pressure from City Council members and affordable housing advocates for more than a year to boost the city’s commitment to addressing Denver’s housing crisis, and they unveiled their plan Monday morning. If key components win council approval this summer, the city would partner with the Denver Housing Authority to issue $105 million in bonds to underwrite affordable housing projects and acquire new land for income-qualified housing.

The upshot: In the next five years, the city’s current plan to subsidize the building or preservation of 3,000 income-restricted apartments and other housing units would be boosted to 6,400.

A large chunk would come from accelerated DHA housing projects. Officials would target much of the increased housing production to the lowest-income group of potential residents, those making up to 30 percent of the metro area’s median household income. For an individual, that limit currently is $18,900 a year. For a family of four, it is $26,960.

Leaders of All In Denver, a group of housing advocates, developers and residents, have pushed for the city to step up its public investment by commissioning polls and floating proposals.

“It’s a lot to like,” said Brad Segal, a co-founder of the group and the president of Progressive Urban Management Associates. “I think we’re pleased that the city administration is taking the urgency of the housing crisis so seriously. DHA is a reliable delivery system, so I think that’s a real strong component of their plan.”

The group plans to delve into the details in coming weeks and may suggest some changes, but Segal was quick to add: “To

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