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Aurora Housing Strategy


Aurora is growing! Our vision is to continue to be a welcoming and safe community with a strong economy and quality and attainable housing. A community’s housing stock must serve the entire income spectrum, including those experiencing homelessness, households with low incomes, new families, first-time or move-up homebuyers, downsizing empty-nesters, among others. The Aurora Housing Strategy is designed to help guide policymakers, city staff, housing developers and community members in achieving a city for all Aurorans.

The Challenge

  Aurora is growing

Aurora has seen steady population growth since the end of World War II, from 11,400 residents in 1950 to over 386,000 residents today. The availability of developable land, municipal water, and a business-friendly environment have contributed to Aurora being the third most populous city in Colorado and second most populous in the Denver metro area. Aurora’s housing has evolved to include many types of homes, neighborhoods and prices, serving a diversity of households with unique needs and preferences.

  Housing and rental prices have grown even faster

This growth has pushed rents and home prices higher each year, with median renter income increasing by 36 percent between 2010 and 2017 and home values increasing by 71 percent over the same period. In all areas of Aurora's rental submarkets, an income of more than $50,000 is required to afford the average rent—this is about $10,000 higher than the median renter income. As of 2017, Aurora had approximately 7,500 too few rental units for renters earning less than $25,000 a year.

  Demand remains strong

The city is positioned to capture a larger share of workers who need both affordability and proximity to major employment centers, including the Anschutz Medical Center and Denver International Airport, as well as middle income renters who want to become homeowners. The combination of recent price increases and slower income growth has priced many residents out of Aurora’s homeownership market. In 2016 and 2017, 56 percent of units sold were priced under $300,000, compared with 35 percent in 2018 and 2019.

To accommodate projected employment growth, the city will need to increase the pace of residential development across the price spectrum and include affordable rental and ownership products.
Chart showing job growth exceeding housing supply by 956 units in Aurora through 2025

  Housing needs are diverse

Aurora’s success in attracting residential development has been an important factor in creating income, racial and ethnic, and household diversity in the city. As households and their preferences change, so does the need for diverse housing options. There is strong housing demand at all levels on the income spectrum, from individuals or households seeking transitional or affordable rental housing, to families looking to buy a home for the first time, to a growing desire for dynamic urban neighborhoods, and others.

Our Approach

The following policy and strategy recommendations were approved by the Aurora City Council on Dec. 21, 2020, as part of the Aurora Housing Strategy.

Approved Policy Recommendations (click on any recommendation to learn more)

Foster a balanced and sustainable housing portfolio in Aurora

Housing options should meet the needs of households of diverse types, sizes, preferences and incomes. Housing choices should include both rental and "for sale" homes and be located in safe, stable and desirable neighborhoods throughout the city.

Preserve the long-term affordability of existing housing stock

Existing affordable housing should be protected and improved to meet the needs of residents and allow families to remain in their homes and communities.

Expand the inventory of housing options throughout Aurora

The city will support the development of new housing that meets the needs of Aurora households. New mixed-income housing projects and their neighborhoods should offer a diversity of housing types and prices throughout the city. 

Strengthen the city's capacity for addressing housing issues

The city will grow funding for housing and housing programs and will work with local or regional partners that help support the city's goals. The city will review and improve its processes and programs to support its housing goals. 

Strengthen the local economy and expand employment opportunities in Aurora

Households need stable, well-paying jobs in order to afford the housing they need. The city will continue to support efforts to attract diverse jobs to Aurora.

Support protections for homeowners and renters

Housing should be safe and accessible to all households. The city will invest in housing and programs that benefit those with the greatest needs. The city will advocate for legislation that supports the city's goals and policies.

Approved Strategy Recommendations (click on any recommendation to learn more)

Want to know more?

The Aurora City Council approved the Aurora Housing Strategy on Dec. 21, 2020. City staff are working to develop policies based on the direction outlined above, and specific proposals and updates will go back before City Council in the months ahead. As these policies take shape, we will have a robust public engagement process to ensure we are hearing from residents, businesses, partner organizations and other stakeholders.

If you have any questions about the Aurora Housing Strategy, please email [email protected] or [email protected].

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