Some Denver homeowners live in affordable houses they make too much money to qualify for

DENVER -- Denver officials are scrambling to address violations of rules around for-sale affordable housing, including a number of deed-restricted homes being sold at market rates to people who were never told what they were buying.

This could lead to Denver’s housing division forcing homeowners who make too much money to sell at a loss, and taking legal action to catch up with previous sellers and take back home-sale profits to which they were not legally entitled.

A review by Denver’s Office of Economic Development was launched last summer, covering 1,302 single- and multi-family units. Working from an initial list of 450, city staffers have zeroed in on as many as 300 homes believed to be breaking at least one covenant rule.

There are several potential violations. Some homeowners have listed their residences on home-sharing sites such as Airbnb. In other cases, homes reserved for sale to people earning a set percentage of the city’s median income have been purchased by companies. And then there are people who bought affordable homes but didn’t qualify under the income rules.

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