AURORA | Before the end of the year, Aurora City Council members will decide how to allocate $1 million for affordable housing projects. 

It’s so far unclear where and how those dollars might be spent.  The rising cost of housing, however, has been a leading conversation for the council in recent months. One topic has been the anticipated closing on the Denver Meadows mobile home park near East Colfax Avenue.  Some council members have also voiced concerns that new development in the northern Aurora trailer park will displace low-income families living in one of the last affordable neighborhoods in the metro area.

The 2019 budget’s $1 million for affordable housing will come from oil-and-gas-related property tax.

This week during a special study session the council members studied data from an affordable housing report that is due out next month from BBC Research & Consulting. 

The presentation focused mainly around Aurora’s housing and rental market, compared to the metro region and the city of Denver. 

Some key findings from the report include: 

  • The age of Aurora’s housing stock. 37 percent was built between 1980 and 1999, compared to 30 percent in the whole metro area. Only four percent of Aurora’s housing stock was built later than 2010. It’s about 6 percent for the entire metro area. 
  • Sale prices. About 38 percent of all homes in Aurora are listed between $300,000 and $500,000. Half of attached homes are listed below $200,000.
  • Days on the market. Both attached and detached homes sell in less than a month.
  • Financial terms. About 21 percent of attached homes are paid for in cash — BBC Research analyst Heidi Aggeler told council members that’s a likely indicator of investors, rather than homeowners, buying properties. 
  • Median rent. Aurora is middle of the pack when it comes to rental pricing. Parker is at the high end with $1,350, Aurora comes in at $1,262 and Commerce City rent averages about $1,066. 

The presentation also highlighted affordability for workers and whether they could afford median rent and the median home price. 

A person making an annual salary of about $60,000 could afford about $1,500 in rent, according to BBC. But that income could not afford the average median home price, up around the $300,000 mark. 

— KARA MASON, Staff Writer