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The Boulder County 10-year Plan Goals, Objectives and Strategies

GOAL 1: Prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless

The starting point for the plan is to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless whenever possible. Given the recent economic downturn, Boulder County residents are facing increasing difficulties in a variety of areas.  Recent statistics demonstrate the need for strong homeless prevention efforts.

Nearly 11% of Boulder County residents have an annual income below the federal poverty line, and one-third of single mothers and 8% of children under 18 live in poverty. During a nine month period ending December 2009, job seekers using the services of Workforce Boulder County increased by 43% (6,613 to 9,461) and those served in December were up 53% (2,335 to 3,632).  Year-to-date applications for Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) have increased from 2008 by 64%, Food Stamps by 34%, Medicaid 22% and OAP/AND by 29%. (Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services)

Boulder is also one (1) of only five (5) counties to show an increase in foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2009; up 5% from January - March 2008. This shows households are struggling to make mortgage payments, and are more than 90 days behind. These numbers correlate to unemployment increases in recent months. From July 2008 - March 2009, Boulder County's unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percent to 6.3%. (Daily Camera April 17, 2009).  Moreover, many Boulder County renters and homeowners are considered cost-burdened which is defined as individuals and families who pay more than 30% of their income housing. For example, using 2008 ACS data, approximately 54% of the renters in Boulder County (21,366 housing units) and 47% of owners with mortgages in Boulder County (23,456 housing units) are considered housing cost burdened.  To put this in perspective, a minimum wage earner would have to work 2.7 full time jobs to afford a 2-bedroom unit in Boulder County.  These estimates also do not consider other related costs, such as transportation which means that numbers are likely conservative. (Boulder Consolidated plan)

Finally, the National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Opportunity Index for the second quarter of 2009 substantiates the high cost of home ownership in the Boulder region compared to other Colorado markets. According to this Index, defined as the share of homes sold in a given area based on standard mortgage underwriting criteria that would have been affordable to a family earning the local median income, only 68.4% of homes in the Boulder MSA are affordable.
Given some of the concerning trends in the local economy and challenges reflected in the costs of local housing and rising use of public services, prevention efforts are a critical components of the County’s 10-year strategy.  This first goal focuses on four key objectives with related strategies:

  • Develop a system that proactively responds to individuals and families who are at risk of losing their places of living.  In particular, this objective will leverage and expand upon the infrastructure and collaborative relationships developed through the Boulder County – Housing Crisis Prevention Program Collaborative to proactively prevent the incidence of homelessness.
  • Provide for more direct support to at-risk individuals and families through the granting of direct cash assistance designed to help with rent, utility and mortgage payments. 
  • Implement education and training support that assists with money management, foreclosure assistance and job seeking efforts.
  • Develop and implement a coordinated planning process with allied organizations that is designed to assist individuals in being successful as they transition back into the community.

Goals, Objectives and Strategies to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless

Objective 1: Provide immediate intervention at earliest possible stage.




Build upon and expand the Boulder County – Housing Crisis Prevention Program Collaborative and use the collaborative as means for supporting an early detection process.


Develop a coordinated response with the private sector including landlords, employers, etc. to prevent individuals from becoming homeless. 


Coordinate with other organizations, policymakers and negotiate waivers for rental application fees, deposits and move-in costs.


Objective 2: Provide financial and in-kind assistance to individuals and families to allow them to stay housed.




Provide rental and utility assistance for individual and families at risk of homelessness and coordinate with other organizations to fund one-time eviction prevention for those at 0-50% of AMI.


Utilize current programs to reduce utility costs such as LEAP, weatherization programs, and Outreach Colorado.


Develop and utilize various benefits acquisition efforts to ensure that individuals and families are enrolled and receiving all entitlements for which they are eligible.


Objective 3:  Provide education and training to individuals and families to help prevent homelessness.




Utilize existing network of Getting Ahead instruction.


Offer financial fitness instruction through Boulder County Housing and Human Services Gateways series.


Offer foreclosure and housing counseling programs through Boulder County Housing and Human Services Housing Counseling Programs.


Objective 4:  Provide reintegration programs to those leaving institutional systems.




Coordinate and improve discharge policies and procedures with the Corrections, Mental Health System, Child Welfare and Public Health Systems to support successful transition from institutional placements to permanent housing.


Utilize youth-specific case manager(s) to support youth who are aging out of the foster care system. 


Link Veterans-serving programs to veterans who are homeless or who are returning to Boulder County.


Utilize re-entry program models such as PACE, Pathways and FOCUS and explore need for new or expanded programs to assist those leaving Boulder County Jail and Department of Corrections.


Goal 2: Provide temporary shelter, alternative housing and supportive services for those who are temporarily homeless

Goal 3:  Provide permanent housing with supportive services to meet the long-term needs of chronic homeless individuals

Goal 4: Develop and/or Improve Systems to Support Efficient and Effective Plan Implementation

Goal 5: Promote Public Awareness and Advocacy

Goal 6: Implement an Effective Governance and Staffing Structure