Affordable Housing Fee

Expanding Housing Affordability Ordinance and Affordable Housing Fee

You may notice this page looks different! When the Expanding Housing Affordability (EHA) ordinance became effective on July 1, 2022, it updated the affordable housing linkage fee (established in 2017 for many development types) and created new affordable housing requirements for developments of 10 or more new dwelling units.

As of July 1, 2022, all application projects will be prompted in e-permits to demonstrate how they meet the requirements of Denver’s Expanding Housing Affordability ordinance. 

About the EHA Ordinance

The Expanding Housing Affordability ordinance will create more affordable housing options for our workforce as well as increase funding for Denver’s Affordable Housing Fund. There are three core elements: 

  1. Requiring new residential development of 10 units or more to designate 8% to 12% of the units as affordable, regardless of whether the home is for rent or for sale. In higher-cost areas of the city, such as downtown, developers will need to provide 2% to 3% more affordable units. This will provide much-needed new workforce housing options in Denver. 
    • To align with state law, which requires alternatives to this requirement, the policy includes an option to pay a fee-in-lieu of the affordable units. This fee ranges from $250,000 to $478,000 depending on the unit type and market area. 

    • The policy also allows for negotiated and community-driven housing agreements in certain situations. 

  2. Gradually increasing the “linkage fee,” which is a fee on new development used to build affordable housing for people with lower incomes. It is not assessed on development that provides affordable housing. The increase will provide much-needed funding for new homes and will bring Denver more in line with other cities nationally.  

  3. Offering zoning and financial incentives, such as flexible parking requirements, height incentives, and permit fee reductions, to help offset the cost of building affordable units and increase the overall supply of housing.

Complying with the EHA Ordinance

Below are the available compliance options for developers to fulfill the Expanding Housing Affordability ordinance. 

Residential developments of 10 units or more may fulfill the ordinance requirements by:

  • Building affordable housing on-site, either at baseline requirements with associated incentives, or meet the enhanced requirements that provide enhanced incentives
  • Paying a fee-in-lieu
  • Negotiating an alternative
  • Fulfilling High-Impact Development requirements (if your project qualifies as High-Impact Development, you must select that option in your application)

All other development types are required to pay the updated linkage fee. Please note that mixed-use developments that include 10 or more residential units must meet the mandatory affordable housing requirement for the residential portion and pay the linkage fee for the non-residential portion. 

Compliance Options in Detail