INITIATIVES ADMINISTERED BY THE DIVISION OF HOUSING
The Division of Housing is working in partnership with local, state, and federal stakeholders, both private and public, to build, promote, and connect Colorado’s most vulnerable citizens with housing and services. The Homeless Programs staff works to achieve the goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring.
The following programs are administered and are focused solely on people facing homelessness:
Office of Homeless Youth Services (OHYS)
Created by the Colorado State Legislature through the Homeless Youth Services Act (C.R.S. 26-5.9), the OHYS is a vehicle through which homeless youth services statewide are improved by coordinating current services and facilitating interagency collaboration. The OHYS identifies gaps, removes barriers, and improves access and information sharing. In order to carry out this legislative intent, the OHYS, in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Homeless Youth, develops and implements the Colorado Homeless Youth Action Plan annually. This statewide plan contains many key prevention and intervention strategies designed to collaboratively and comprehensively address the issue of youth homelessness in Colorado.
Next Step Program
Homeless families with school-aged children receive rental assistance allowing families to secure housing and choice of where to live within their community: close to jobs, family, and schools of choice. Maintaining school attendance in a specific school can improve academic success and reduce long term social costs. Parents receive job counseling and training and all family members receive supportive services.
Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program
These grants are funded by HUD to allow states, local governments and non-profits assist homeless persons by providing a complete continuum of supportive services at emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. The program also assists in the prevention of homelessness when households experience a sudden but temporary loss of income that results in an inability to pay rent, mortgage, or utilities.
- Shelter operating expenses.
- Essential services.
- Homeless prevention activities.
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
The HOPWA program is funded by HUD and provides states and localities with resources and incentives to create long-term comprehensive strategies for meeting the housing needs of low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. These strategies may include Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), Housing Development activities, Supportive Services, and/or Short-Term Rent, Mortgage, or Utility Assistance (STRMU).
Homeless Prevention Activities Program (HPAP)
Funding for HPAP is made available through the state income tax check-off, which allows Colorado residents to make voluntary contributions on their state income tax return. DOH administers HPAP annually through a competitive process to non-profit organizations throughout the state. Services provided include but are not limited to direct payments to landlords and/or utility companies, and case management. Approximately 500 households are served annually through HPAP.
Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community
Fort Lyon provides recovery-oriented transitional housing to homeless individuals. The program combines housing with counseling, educational, vocational, and employment services for approximately 250 homeless and formerly homeless persons from across Colorado, with an emphasis on serving homeless veterans.
The Community is located at the former Fort Lyon Veterans Affairs Hospital in Bent County, Colorado, and is the outcome of a vision to repurpose the facility and to offer a supportive environment to homeless individuals across the state. Residents fully engage in the overall operations of the campus including food services, facilities maintenance, grounds maintenance, housekeeping, and wastewater management—in conjunction with their daily participation in peer support groups. Educational and vocational opportunities are available through local colleges. Residents are also encouraged to participate in creative programs that help build support and community while assisting with recovery.
The ultimate goal of this program is for residents to recover from homelessness, find long-term housing stability, and reintegrate into their community of choice.
COMMUNITY LIVING COLORADO (CLC)
DOH’s CLC staff seeks to help people with disabilities either move out of institutions or avoid entering them. DOH provides opportunities for people with disabilities to live independently in integrated settings in their communities, with support services available on an as-needed basis. To that end, the CLC staff, by an interagency agreement with the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), administers the CCT Voucher Program (described above), and the Medicaid Home Modifications program. People with disabilities who are eligible for Medicaid Home and Community Based waiver services can use the home modification benefit to make their homes accessible, preventing unnecessary institutionalization. The agreement with HCPF is aimed at improving the effectiveness of the home modification benefit through DOH oversight, inspections, and input on improvements to program design.
HOUSING TECHNOLOGY AND STANDARDS
DOH’s Housing Technology and Standards staff supports, licenses, and regulates the residential and non-residential factory-built industry in Colorado. We ensure the health and safety of Colorado residents living in manufactured homes by providing training and technical assistance for the industry, and through plan review and inspection services.
HUD Code Manufactured Housing
A HUD Code Manufactured Home is a transportable home built after June 15, 1976, of at least 320 square feet, that is constructed to the nationally recognized HUD Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (HUD 3280). It may be used as a dwelling unit with or without a permanent foundation when connected to required utilities.
HUD Code Manufactured Homes always preempt local building codes and must be accepted into the community for placement. Local governments may not impose additional building code requirements in regards to the construction of the home. The local government may require additional on-site mitigation for snow loads and wind loads. Repairs, renovations, and additions to HUD Code Manufactured Homes are under the local government’s authority.
DOH has participated in the HUD Code Manufactured Housing Program since 1976 as a HUD approved in-plant construction inspection agency (IPIA) for all homes built in Colorado in compliance to the HUD Construction and Safety Standards and as the State Administrative Agency (SAA) that is charged with resolving consumer complaints in regards to HUD code homes.
Factory-Built Structures and Modular Homes
All International Residential Code (IRC) Modular Homes and Commercial Factory-Built Structures manufactured or sold in Colorado are regulated by DOH through the administration and enforcement of the construction standards adopted by the Colorado State Housing Board.
DOH ensures that these structures are properly designed and constructed for local climate conditions and meet the adopted construction standards. We work with local building departments to coordinate the on-site inspection process. In most cases, DOH is responsible for the regulation of all factory-completed construction, while the local building department regulates on-site construction activity, including the home foundation and on-site constructed garages and other improvements. The Housing Technology and Standards staff is the point of contact for local building departments for all technical concerns, including the resolution of consumer complaints.
Manufactured Housing Installation Program (MHIP)
DOH regulates the installation of all HUD Code and IRC Modular Homes in Colorado through the Manufactured Housing Installation Program (MHIP), which provides training and on-site home installation inspection services.These inspections are designed to confirm that the home has been installed to the standards adopted by the State. Local governments are encouraged to register as MHIP Participating Jurisdictions, which allows them to act as the exclusive MHIP inspection agency for homes being placed in their communities.
Dealer Registration Program
Consumer protection against unethical or unlawful manufactured housing sales practices is provided through the Dealer Registration Program. All dealers that sell used or new manufactured homes in Colorado are required to be registered and bonded. Local governments are encouraged to forward any consumer concerns in regards to HUD code or Factory-Built/Modular Homes to DOH.
Manufactured Housing Parks
There are over 1,300 manufactured housing parks in Colorado, which play an important role in the overall supply of housing within a community. Local governments interested in fostering the appropriate preservation or creation of new parks may want to consider the adoption of zoning and planning practice changes that support manufactured housing parks, and the creation of programs that assist in park infrastructure and individual home renovations.
There is no legal definition of a “tiny home.” The term can refer to anything from a 100 square foot miniature cabin on wheels to a house smaller than about 800 square feet. A “tiny home” is either considered a recreational vehicle (RV) or a dwelling unit depending on its defining characteristics. To be considered a dwelling unit, the house must be constructed for year-round occupancy (IRC code compliant) and connected to water, sewer, and electric utilities. Tiny homes in this case will be subject to locally adopted building codes, as well as zoning and subdivision codes. “Tiny Homes” constructed in a factory to the IRC code are regulated by DOH.