3 Tips for Finding Safe, Affordable Housing in Denver
In a recent blog post, our real estate experts covered five ways to spend less on housing as a homeowner, including tips for renting out spare rooms and minimizing utility bills. But minimizing utility expenses can only go so far when half of all Colorado renters spend more than 30% of their combined household income on housing — and 1 in 4 Colorado renters spends more than 50% of their household income on housing.
At Denver Mobile Homes, we have made it our mission to make Denver housing affordable again by challenging the stigma of mobile home living and providing safe homes for many Colorado families. In today’s post, we’ll cover our top resources and tips to help you find safe, affordable housing in the Denver area.
Denver’s affordable housing problem
Across every income level, Colorado’s housing supply has not kept up with demand, launching the state into a prolonged affordable housing crisis. Fortunately, over the next seven years, Colorado is set to invest more in affordable housing than ever before — but until then, it will likely be a challenge for many renters to find safe, affordable living arrangements.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Colorado only has 28 affordable rental homes for every 100 extremely low income households (households that earn between 0% and 30% of the area’s median income). This affordable housing deficit puts severe cost burdens on 114,071 Colorado households.
With such a shortage of affordable housing options, renters and would-be homeowners have to find creative solutions to minimize their housing costs. Fortunately, there are a variety of options.
1. Sacrifice privacy to save money
Depending on the size of your household and the flexibility of your mindset, there are hundreds of creative living arrangements available to you. Many homeowners rent out spare rooms for cheap, or have entire garage or basement apartments available at reduced cost. You could move back in with family or friends, or find a big place with multiple roommates.
Examples of cheap, creative living arrangements include:
- Renting a garage or basement apartment
- Renting a private room in a home
- Moving in with family or friends
- Sharing an apartment or house with roommates
The downside to most of these options is that you’ll have to sacrifice your privacy and share your living space, and it can be harder to place a couple or a family. But these are ideal solutions for young professionals or single people who don’t need much space. By sacrificing your privacy today, you could save enough money to afford a more expensive place in the near future.
Zillow is a helpful resource to browse for basement and garage apartments and private rooms in homes. Craigslist is helpful as well, and typically has more listings from people seeking roommates. You can post your own “seeking housing” listing to put potential landlords and roommates in touch with you. Make sure to bring a friend and trust your gut when meeting up with an online contact, and don’t settle for a living situation in which you don’t feel safe or comfortable. There are other options for you.
2. Search for government-sponsored housing
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) helps citizens find affordable housing in three ways:
Privately owned, subsidized housing
HUD subsidizes some landlords to offer reduced rent to qualifying low-income tenants.
- Your income must not exceed 50% of the median income in your area
- You may be subject to additional eligibility requirements set by the landlord
To find housing:
- Search for subsidized rental properties in your area with HUD’s online resource locator
- Apply directly at the rental management office
Unlike subsidized housing, which is privately owned, public housing is made up of state-owned rental apartments and houses for low-income families, people with disabilities, and the elderly. Although many people are wary of public housing because of the commonly-held belief that it is associated with higher crime rates, a 2018 affordable housing study found that “low-income housing developments are not uniformly criminogenic.” There are safe public housing options available.
- You must be a low-income family, an elderly person, or a person with a disability
- Your annual gross income must not exceed 80% of the median income for your area
- You must be a U.S. citizen or have eligible immigration status
- You may be subject to other local qualifying factors
To find housing:
- Contact your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) to find out if you qualify
- Apply through your local PHA
Housing choice voucher program
If you qualify for housing vouchers, you can use them to pay for all or part of the rent on a rental property of your choice.
To qualify and find housing:
- Contact your local PHA to determine your eligibility and find local properties.
3. Consider mobile home living
Our final tip for finding safe, affordable housing is to look into renting or purchasing a mobile home. Trailer homes have had a bad stigma for too long — in truth, they can provide a comfortable, safe, low-cost housing solution for low-income families who want to retain their privacy and avoid government-sponsored housing options.
When you choose a mobile home as your affordable housing solution, you can:
- Save money on monthly living expenses
- Make your money work for you by investing as a buyer instead of renting
- Own your own home and modify it however you want
- Maintain your privacy
- Live in the area you want
As the average price tag for a home in the Denver metro area climbs to $550,000, and given that buyers need a salary of at least $92,000 to afford a mid-range home, many families around Colorado are re-evaluating what homeownership means to them. Denver Mobile Homes currently has comfortable, modern modular homes listed for as little as $34,900! Don’t let the skyrocketing Denver housing market ruin your dream of owning your own place — with affordable properties and flexible financing, you can find a home that will keep you safe and warm for years to come.
Contact Denver Mobile Homes Today
We understand that finding affordable housing can be stressful, and our team is here to help as much as possible. If you have more questions about low-cost housing options for you, or would like to schedule a time to see one of our mobile home properties, feel free to give us a call today. Our mission is to remove the stigma of mobile home living and alleviate the housing crisis by providing safe homes for families across Denver.