New nonprofit wants to improve Boulder's affordable housing market by asking neighbors to get cozy

BOULDER, Colo. - In a city where four bedroom homes can easily top $1 million, one Boulder man is asking his neighbors to get cozy and share space.

“The dirt here is what's so expensive,” said Brad Smith, who along with his girlfriend, Kayle Dorsa, found an affordable property in Boulder. 

Smith and Dorsa live in a proposed eco-district on North Street in Boulder, where you'll see homes nestled behind other homes.

“When you get more people living on the dirt, it makes the rent go down. Which is good for us,” he said.

It's an idea rooted in Goose Creek Neighborhoods, a new nonprofit hoping to find room in existing communities. They'd like to see homeowners sharing their lots with tiny homes, or smaller units.

David Adamson is a Boulder native and the executive director of Goose Creek Neighborhoods. “Let's try some new ideas,” he said.

Adamson's house runs on solar power. He has a fleet of eco-friendly vehicles to encourage ride-sharing and alleviate parking problems. He said his dream of gently “in-filling” the neighborhood means greater diversity.

“We've created a very beautiful, popular spot, but we don't have to be resigned to let appreciation push everyone out,” he said.

Keep in mind, this is still just an idea. The city of Boulder has not signed off on it. Still, Adamson said he wants to try it out.

"So that your kids and my kids can live here and people can age in-place and maybe make some income from renting to a student, renting to a teacher, renting to a policeman. You know, having some flexibility," he said.

The program would encourage homeowners from 6th to 9th Streets to participate in a land trust to keep homes affordable. The city would have to change zoning laws to allow for the added density.

“We want to have the option of trying it out. That's what we're asking,” he said.

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