BOULDER, Colo. — About 60% of renters in Boulder are cost-burdened, meaning more than 30% of their income goes toward rent. It is one of the reasons why 185 units at Tantra Lake are being transformed into affordable housing.
For most of his life, Gary Rehn has called Boulder home.
“After 50 years, you know, you become attached, whether you want to or not,” he said.
Over time, Rehn's need for affordable housing has increased.
“It's too expensive everywhere, and it pisses me off. But what are you going to do about it?” he said.
In the end, Rehn decided on the Tantra Lake Apartments — a decision he feels lucky to have made.
“I think this is going to be just tremendous. I'm excited about it,” he said.
Construction is already ongoing on this nine acre lot. Soon, Rehn’s home will also be completely remodeled.
“We've got new cabinetry, new flooring, new paint,” said Laura Sheinbaum, director of real estate development for Boulder Housing Partners.
Sheinbaum says through next summer, Boulder Housing Partners will work one building at a time to modernize the 185 apartments and keep them as affordable housing units for decades to come.
“It's a big deal for our organization, it's a big lift," Sheinbaum said. "When somebody lives in a place that's beautiful, it gives them a certain pride and what they're doing, sort of, more holistically with their life."
Executive director of Boulder Housing Partners Jeremey Durham says the need for affordable housing in Boulder remains high.
“Boulder has a large percentage of the workforce that is unable to afford rent here. And, in fact, that's even more so the case because the market rents in Boulder are so high,” said Durham.
Boulder Housing Partners purchased the property in 2017 and identified it as a great area to create affordable homes.
“This is a site that could have gone the way of so many others were — out-of-state investment groups swoop the property up, renovate it, and take the rents to the luxury levels,” said Durham.
Residents like Rehn will be able to move in on a rolling basis as the units are completed. For him, having affordable housing means everything.
“Probably the difference between being homeless and having a home, you know, and that's the distinction for me,” said Rehn.
Boulder Housing Partners says people can expect to pay around $1,200 a month for a one bedroom apartment and up to $1,600 a month for a three bedroom unit.
The entire complex is expected to be completed by summer 2023.