woman smiling, wearing glasses and a suit
Ann Hutchison
President & CEO

For comments and questions about this blog, please email Ann at [email protected]

Housing Affordability – A Shared Concern

by | Feb 21, 2023 | From the CEO

woman smiling, wearing glasses and a suit
Ann Hutchison | President & CEO

For comments and questions about this blog, please email Ann at [email protected]

I recently had the pleasure of presenting the good work of your Chamber in promoting housing affordability at the Western Area Chamber Executives conference in Sacramento, CA alongside my colleague, Joe Rowan.  With roughly 50 fellow chamber representatives attending the session, it reinforced the idea that housing affordability is a shared concern across the country.  Yet, I’m often asked, “how is this a business issue?”

For those that don’t live and breathe this stuff every day, it’s a legitimate question. Simply put, most of our members rely upon a healthy, productive, and engaged workforce for their success.  When an adequate, diverse supply of housing options that fit within the family budget is not readily available, employees leave, lose motivation, and experience physical and mental stress.  So, invariably, my response to the question is, “housing affordability is a key determinant to the success of most businesses.”

At the conference, we outlined your Chamber’s leadership role in NoCo Housing Now, a regional initiative that brings community leaders together each quarter to discuss critical issues, share information, learn from industry experts, and celebrate success stories.  In partnership with the Fort Collins Board of Realtors, Larimer County, the cities of Greeley and Fort Collins, CSU, Northern Colorado Rental Housing Association, Northern Colorado Home Builders, and others, NoCo Housing Now increasingly serves as a key resource for both the public and private-sectors.

Additionally, One Voice for Housing, which will officially launch their website in March, is a more targeted resource for affecting local policy.  Initially created as a partnership among eight private-sector entities working in close collaboration with the City of Fort Collins, Larimer County, Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority, and CSU, the initiative is quickly bringing additional interests to the table.  All share a desire to reframe the community dialogue with consistent messaging that promotes the virtues of expanding access to safe, healthy housing options that meet the needs of a more diverse, growing population across the income spectrum.

Clearly, we have a lot of work in front of us, but rest assured your Chamber is at the wheel while actively seeking opportunities to bring more voices to the conversation.