Aurora considers modular construction for affordable housing

February 12, 2024 | by magnews24.com

As Colorado struggles with its lack of affordable housing, the Aurora City Council will consider on Monday a resolution that would allow the use of buildings with “modular construction” to provide affordable housing units.

The goal of Aurora’s modular construction resolution is to “increase attainable housing,” according to city staff.

With modular construction, buildings are built offsite and then moved, like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, onto a property. The method is seen as more effective, faster and more environmentally friendly than regular construction, officials said.

Off-site construction “makes modular housing a promising and innovative solution for increasing the supply of housing with construction timelines that are more than 50% faster than site-built construction,” the resolution states. “The controlled environment of off-site construction therefore doubles the number of homes delivered in the same amount of time at approximately the same cost.”

Ward 6 Councilmember Françoise Bergan, the resolution’s primary sponsor, is requesting a waiver of reconsideration on Monday.

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The waiver signals that the council intends to vote on the resolution as soon as possible, according to a council spokesperson, and will show Colorado legislators that the city “has a resolution in effect that addresses affordable housing.” 

The waiver specifically addresses Colorado Proposition 123, an affordable housing measure approved by voters in 2022.

Aurora plans to implement Proposition 123 by increasing the housing supply by 3% annually “while at the same time identifying innovative and cost-efficient approaches to solving the existing shortage,” its pending resolution states.

As of December, the median closing price in Colorado rose by 42.7% over the last five years, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors. Home sales, on the other hand, dropped 19.1%.

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