FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A new apartment complex in the heart of Fort Collins is looking to provide more options for affordable housing, especially for the people who work in the city.
"The crisis is real, and it's true in Fort Collins," said Kristin Fritz, chief real estate officer for Housing Catalyst.
It's a crisis that has left many who work in Fort Collins unable to also live in the city.
"Housing prices continue to go up, and wages are really not keeping up with that. People really get priced out of this market and not being able to live in a community," said Fritz.
Which is why Fritz and the Downtown Development Authority wanted help create real, affordable, workforce housing.
"We are building 79 units of 100% affordable housing. We're going to be offering it to the income level up to 80% of area median income. That means everybody that lives here has to income qualify and we are able to offer affordable rent," said Fritz.
The cheapest one-bedroom is expected to start around $500 for people with low income and $1,200 for people with higher income. It's a surprising price point for Aaron Helm, who used to rent in Fort Collins and moved away in order to afford a home.
"We were paying $750 a month for a two-bedroom house that had a backyard, a garage, everything. We lived there for 10 years, and when we moved out, they raised the rent to $1,450 a month," said Helm.
For Helm, building affordable housing, especially in the heart of Fort Collins, comes with massive benefits.
"I think it is a good sense of community if you can live, play, and work all in the same spot, you know, and not have to drive 30-40 minutes to get to where you need to be. It benefits everyone, especially the environment with there not being as many cars on the road," said Fritz.
Fritz said the project is an example of investing in people so the city can also thrive.
"The key to a really healthy and sustainable community and economy is for people at all income levels to be able to live here, work here, raise their families here," said Fritz.