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Housing Affordability Research

Paycheck to Paycheck 2016: Affordability Challenges in Colorado

In partnership with Housing Colorado, NHC prepared a brief based on data from “Paycheck to Paycheck” that focuses on the particular housing affordability challenges in the state of Colorado. This brief compares median housing costs and median income data from six metro areas around the state — Denver, Boulder, Greeley, Fort Collins, Pueblo, and Colorado Springs — to assess the ability of workers in five key community occupations — retail sales associate, early-career elementary school teacher, patrol police officer, janitor, and licensed nurse — to afford renting or owning a typical home. The data show that the cost of housing in metro areas around the state remain at the edge of affordability for essential service workers like janitors, nurses and police officers, while the high-cost markets of Boulder and Denver are challenging for workers across the earnings spectrum.

Brian Stromberg, Ph.D., is NHC’s Housing Research Specialist. His research areas include GIS analysis, affordable housing policy, community land trusts and housing finance policy.

For more information or to schedule an interview with the author, please contact Andrea Nesby, Marketing & Communications Manager, at (202) 466-2121, ext. 240, or

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