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The Lafayette City Council has unanimously approved applying for a grant to increase the city’s affordable housing inventory to meet state and county goals. The funds requested by the city will be provided through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Local Planning Capacity Grant Fund Program.

Lafayette currently has about 750 affordable housing units before Willoughby Corner opens, according to Phil Kleisler, director of long-range planning. The city needs about 1,000 more to meet Boulder County’s statewide goal of having 12% of the city’s housing stock affordable by 2035. Kleisler said the 12% goal is a moving target, as the number will likely change as developments occur in the city and building permits are issued.

Kleisler clarified that these numbers do not include Willoughby Corner, where there will be 400 affordable housing units.

In July 2023, the city also committed to Proposition 123, which requires Lafatyette to create or convert 115 housing units into affordable housing by 2027.

“If approved, the grant will provide the necessary staff support to implement some of the key actions in the strategic plan, with a real focus on building a solid foundation for our existing affordable housing program,” Kleisler said.

Lafayette hopes to use the grant money to hire consultants to create a roadmap for the city’s housing program and to develop regulations, such as an ordinance to accelerate affordable housing projects or an ordinance requiring developers to build a certain number of affordable units. The grant would also help the city manage its current affordable housing program.

The city is requesting $192,000 from the grant, and the total cost of the project is $240,000 over two years, with the city contributing 20%, or $48,000. The city’s contribution would come from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which covers the administrative costs necessary to administer the housing program.

Mayor pro tempore Brian Wong was not present.