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Housing Denver's 'missing middle:' Developers get creative, but seek need city's help to make it happen

A wooden frame of a building takes shape by the hands of two construction workers

Feb. 08, 2023

“As a developer, you have a choice right now. You can just keep your head in the sand … or you can be part of a new solution.”

Denver developers and residents alike are left wondering what their local government can do to help alleviate a housing shortage. 

Members of the population known as the “missing middle” often feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. These employed individuals make too much to qualify for low-income housing tax credits, but not enough to buy a house or pay less than 30% of their monthly income on housing — the amount experts say makes someone cost-burdened.

To address this group of people who typically make between 80% and 120% of the area median income, according to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Denver developers are getting creative, but say they still need help from the City and County of Denver to make a significant dent in the housing crisis. 

“As a developer, you have a choice right now. You can just keep your head in the sand … or you can be part of a new solution, which probably makes us all less money but is a much more durable platform over a 10- or 20-year period of time,” said Mark Falcone, CEO and founder of Denver-based real estate developer Continuum Partners.

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