Broomfield creates independent housing authority

Broomfield’s first independent housing authority was established on Tuesday evening.

City council members have historically served as commissioners on the Broomfield Housing Board of Directors, but council members voted unanimously to hand over governance to the newly created council at Tuesday’s council meeting. The idea of ​​creating an independent council has been in the making for years with the idea that it will increase responsiveness to meet Broomfield’s affordable housing mission and goals, remove any responsibility from the associated city and county. owning or managing rental units, and will allow boards of directors to capitalize on the money available only to independent housing authorities.

The intergovernmental agreement between the city and the county and the housing authority takes effect on January 1, 2022.

The housing authority will receive $ 3 million in January from the city and county, money from the Bromfield Replacement Fund established from the Inclusive Housing Zoning Ordinance. Director of Economic Vitality and economist Jeff Romine told council on Tuesday that the money is intended to last about three years for the housing authority, with its exact extent depending on the number of projects undertaken by the council.

“This will result in the creation of at least 100 affordable housing units or the commitment of 30 to 60% (median income for the region),” Romine said of the $ 3 million grant, noting that the 100 housing are separate from all housing projects that the Council has adopted or plans to pass.

The current mission of the new Broomfield Housing Authority is “to work collaboratively with the public and private sectors to create achievable and sustainable housing options for the widest range of residents (of the City and County of Broomfield)”.

The authority will collect, store and use its own finances to maintain its financial independence, Romine explained. The authority’s executive director will be the authority’s only full-time employee in 2022, and the director will technically work for the city and county of Broomfield, which Romine explained was for insurance and security reasons. other advantages. Until the director is selected, city and county director Jennifer Hoffman will act as director. The executive director is expected to be appointed in early 2022.

The housing authority can employ additional staff as needed, although the authority is responsible for the remuneration, benefits and expenses of additional staff, the intergovernmental agreement says.

Along with the executive director, the board will be made up of five commissioners who will be staggered over four-year terms, and the initial two-member term will be two years to ensure that the board rotates regularly. The board will follow the same appointment schedule as other Broomfield boards and commissions, Romine noted. Members must all be residents of Broomfield, and no more than three members may be from the same neighborhood.

“It is preferable that all Commissioners have a range of knowledge and experience required, relevant and specific to the development and support of affordable and market-priced housing,” says the intergovernmental agreement. “In addition, it is preferable that at least one commissioner has life experience related to these efforts.”

Romine added that city council will have the power to dismiss a board member for “ineffectiveness, negligence or misconduct,” which council members requested during a study session on September 21 when they have examined the concept.

It is expected that the commissioner’s candidacy will be published on October 28 and interviews will take place in November. The Council will select the five commissioners on December 14, and the second round of director interviews will also take place in December.

Council members expressed their gratitude for all the hard work that went into the proposed housing authority and celebrated the end of what seemed like a never-ending journey.

City Councilor Sharon Tessier, who has served on the Housing Advisory Committee for the past five years, thanked her fellow councilors, city staff and the residents of Broomfield.

“To the community, thank you for your patience as we line up our ducks,” she said. “It has been an incredible trip. We cannot talk about housing without talking about our public health, our educational health, our intellectual health, occupational health, physical, mental, emotional, financial health. If you think about it, housing overlaps with all of the other priorities.

“I’m going to listen to ‘Chariots Of Fire’ after tonight because it’s been a marathon. I am thinking of an ultramarathon.

In 2016, city council established and appointed the first members of the Broomfield Housing Advisory Committee, called to “examine housing issues in Broomfield, including the cost of renting and homeownership; affordability challenges for different populations of Broomfield, including the elderly and the workforce; review potential housing developments and make recommendations to city council on a variety of housing issues and opportunities, ”the note read.

A comprehensive housing needs assessment was authorized in 2017 to better understand housing options and gaps, and the assessment was presented to Council in 2018. The team of consultants who carried out the assessment recommended Council to establish an independent board of directors of housing, says the memo. .

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