As housing prices increase along the Front Range, staff and faculty at Colorado State University are finding it harder to live near campus.
In a study done by the Common Sense Institute, trends in housing prices are only going up. The average mortgage for a starter home has increased by $1,142 per month — that’s a 69% increase since 2015 alone. Furthermore, the average monthly rent has increased $317 across the state.
Brett Anderson, special assistant to the chancellor for the CSU System, explained one of his current responsibilities is to address this housing affordability issue through projects like Employee Housing Programs.
“The Employee Housing (Programs are) an exciting opportunity for both CSU and our Northern Colorado community,” Robyn Fergus, vice president for Human Resources, wrote in an email to The Collegian.
Anderson described a survey that was sent to CSU employees, the results of which stated for many employees, housing is a challenge whether they rent or hope to buy a home close to campus.
“Our mission is to support CSU employees by facilitating access to housing through the design, delivery and management of housing assistance programs,” Fergus wrote.
Fergus also explained retention and recruitment of CSU employees is an important driver of this program. She highlighted that they hope to create housing stability and increase employee wellbeing.
“I hope our employees see we are absolutely committed to this for the long haul”- Brett Anderson, special assistant to the chancellor for the CSU System
Currently, the Employee Housing Programs are in development, with a few projects a little further along, Anderson said. A goal they have right now is to begin the construction process on employee apartments off Timberline Road in August, which should be ready for rent in fall 2023.
Fergus explained these Timberline units would have one to three bedroom options, allowing employees to support their families and become closer members of the community.
When it comes to purchasing homes, Anderson said they also hope to partner with Canvas Credit Union to create the chance to waive private mortgage insurance. He also hopes to partner with realtors with the goal of reducing their commission on sales as well as working with other community partners and grants for a matching fund.
Fergus explained the University’s new Courageous Strategic Transformation initiative has a strong focus on removing barriers and creating attainable housing options. They have goals focused on people and culture, innovation and impact.
These goals focus on providing long-term housing for employees with the hope of supporting CSU’s sustainability goals through encouraging housing options near campus and addressing these problems through philanthropy, innovation and community partnership, Fergus wrote.
These are just some examples of what CSU is doing to help lessen the burden of housing issues. Anderson explained they are hoping to continue the conversation with staff and faculty to ensure they are developing programs that will be helpful. They continue working with various councils and faculty to ensure they are developing their programs the best way they can through feedback.
Anderson emphasized the solutions will not happen overnight, and he asked for patience while they work on developing this comprehensive program.
“I hope our employees see we are absolutely committed to this for the long haul,” Anderson said. “Be interactive with us; give us your thoughts; give us your feedback to direct us to ensure that we are helping in the ways necessary.”
Reach Isabel Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @isabelbrown02.