Illustration of various housing types
Reminder: Submit your comments to the draft proposal by December 31! 
More than 160,000 Denver residents are paying far more than the recommended 30% of their income for housing. In October, Community Planning and Development and the Department of Housing Stability released a draft proposal for the Expanding Housing Affordability project to support the creation of affordable housing needed by our workforce and community members. The draft proposal recommends a mandatory affordable housing requirement for new residential developments above a certain size to ensure that much-needed affordable options are included as new residential buildings are developed.  

The deadline to submit a comment for this round of review of the draft proposal is December 31, 2021.  

The city will use your input on the approach to continue to refine the proposal. An updated proposal reflecting the comments received in 2021 will be available for public review in early 2022. 
Timeline and Next Steps
City staff will compile and synthesize all comments received by December 31, 2021, and identify areas for needed refinements. A revised policy approach, including the specific proposed changes to the Denver Zoning Code (DZC), Denver Revised Municipal Code (DRMC), and Rules and Regulations (R&R) will be released for community review in early 2022. Additional outreach and feedback opportunities will be posted on the project website.  

The legislative review process, which includes public hearing before City Council and Planning Board, will begin in spring 2022. 

Denver City Council is expected to consider this proposal in spring 2022. This proposal must be adopted by Denver City Council before it will become effective.  

The proposal balances the immediate need for affordable units with the need to provide adequate time for existing projects to move through development permitting under today’s regulations and linkage fee schedules. As such, it includes the following provisions: 

Projects under Site Development Plan (SDP) review could continue under existing rules if they have a:  

  • concept SDP submitted by June 30, 2022;  
  • AND a final SDP approved by August 30, 2023 (14-month window).  

Additional flexibility is proposed for projects that have longer required review procedures under Large Development Review (LDR) or subdivision rules. 

Projects under residential review (one to two units, small additions, etc.) could continue under existing rules if they have a:  

  • building permit submitted by June 30, 2022, and have paid all applicable plan review fees; 
  • AND a building permit approved and issued by December 30, 2022 (6-month window). 
Why are we doing this work?
Denver has an immediate and growing need for housing. As costs go up, many families are spending more on housing, and many are being priced out of the neighborhoods they grew up in. To address that need, the city is working to create more options for everybody. This project will develop tools to encourage the construction of affordable and mixed-income housing across the city. New housing where people can live near jobs, transit and the services they need will help address housing demand and create a more sustainable Denver. This work complements the city’s existing initiatives to help provide much-needed housing for our teachers, firefighters, restaurant workers—people who make our city the great place we all love. 

To learn about other housing initiatives underway, please visit