Home is where the heart is. Home is where jobs go to sleep at night. Home is where memories are made. And in Larimer County, the average cost of these special places now exceeds $500,000. Attainable housing is at the top of our community’s priority list in nearly every conversation, survey, focus group and more. A safe and stable place to call home is an essential human need that impacts everything from children thriving in school to working adults as part of a thriving economy.
In fact, in the first quarter of this year, from January to March, of all the calls to 211 for Larimer County, housing, rent assistance, and shelter services comprised over one third of all calls. When calls for utility assistance are considered (also a housing-related cost) that rises to nearly half of all inquiries for support.
Many Larimer County residents could not afford to purchase the homes in which we live today if we were searching in the current market. And, we see our co-workers, neighbors, children’s teachers, and other essential workers unable to find attainable housing and remain part of our community. “When affordable housing wins, everyone wins,” says Dustin Barrington, Director of Housing Development for CARE Housing who has multiple properties across Larimer County and hopes for additional homes on the horizon.
United Way of Larimer County has long supported housing stability through grant funds for rent assistance to many of our nonprofit partners across the county. In addition, this year, United Way of Larimer County also supported the first successful resident-led purchase of a mobile home park. They are the last naturally occurring affordable housing options in our community and support many of our foreign-born workers.
At a NOCO Housing Now summit in early June, Jeff Feneis, Executive Director of the Loveland Housing Authority stated, “It’s going to take even more innovation through partnerships.” These partnerships include churches and breweries donating land for housing and united education and advocacy campaigns speaking as one voice for housing and what we all can do to address this critical community issue. UWLC is honored to be part of many current and evolving partnerships to address the housing crisis in Northern Colorado.
If you need assistance with housing, call 211. If you have time to give, please visit https://www.nocovolunteers.org to volunteer for housing-related projects or donate financially at https://uwaylc.org/give.