Everything Starts with a Home

Affordable housing is a cornerstone for community stability and individual well-being, relieving pressures on other kitchen table issues faced by families across Jefferson County (Jeffco). Lowering housing costs for families improves their quality of life as well as the economic conditions of their community and the county. This overview delves into the intricate connections between affordable housing and pivotal kitchen table concerns. Improving housing quality and reducing housing prices in Jeffco can improve other kitchen table issues.

Economic Stability

Research consistently underscores the role of affordable housing in economic stability. Spending a high proportion of your income on housing creates financial strains. Families in Jeffco grapple with the economic consequences of housing affordability: Half of Jeffco renters pay 30 percent or more of their income on housing. National case studies emphasize that when housing consumes a significant portion of household income, families face dilemmas at the kitchen table, forcing them to decide between meeting rent obligations and covering other essentials. Thirty-four percent of young Coloradans bought fewer groceries to afford their rent.

An often overlooked aspect of affordable housing is its direct influence on family finances and debt. When housing costs are reduced through affordable housing developments, families experience a significant shift in their budget dynamics. Research highlights that affordable housing can alleviate financial stress, allowing families to allocate resources to other critical needs. Families that benefit from affordable housing initiatives may find themselves with more disposable income, enabling them to address outstanding debts, save for the future, or invest in education and skill development. U.S. case studies highlight that access to affordable housing is linked to increased economic mobility. The economic implications resonate not only at the individual level but also at the community and regional levels, shaping Jeffco’s overall economic landscape.

Education and Family Wellbeing

The nexus between affordable housing and education is well-documented. Stable housing is a cornerstone for better educational outcomes. In Jeffco, where the school district serves a diverse population, housing instability can disrupt children’s education, impacting their long-term prospects and reducing educational outcomes and lifetime earnings. Affordable housing initiatives prioritizing proximity to quality schools have been proven to contribute positively to educational outcomes. In Jeffco, targeted policies aimed at ensuring stable housing for families can directly address concerns at the kitchen table regarding their children’s future and educational prospects.


The impact of affordable housing on health is a critical facet of the discussion. Inadequate housing conditions contribute to health issues. Stable and affordable housing is associated with better physical and mental health outcomes. Across Colorado, almost half of residents without stable housing had fair or poor health conditions compared to 12 percent for those with stable housing. This is especially concerning for communities of color as they are twice as likely to face housing instability. Unfortunately, healthcare is one of the first costs cut by housing cost-burdened families. In fact, 24 percent of Coloradans have skipped medical appointments to meet high housing costs. Additionally, housing conditions and proximity to direct and indirect sources of pollution are directly linked, raising risk factors for children with asthma. Improving housing conditions and lowering housing prices can significantly improve individual and community health in Jeffco.

Community Stability and Social Cohesion

Affordable housing plays a pivotal role in fostering community stability and social cohesion. Studies have demonstrated that individuals in stable housing are more likely to engage in community activities and contribute positively to neighborhood well-being. To help foster Jeffco’s diverse communities, the importance of affordable housing policies that promote inclusivity and community engagement cannot be overstated. Ensuring a mix of affordable housing options in various neighborhoods contributes to social cohesion, addressing concerns at the kitchen table related to safety, neighborhood relations, and overall community well-being. Localized data from community surveys and planning offices can provide valuable insights into the specific needs and aspirations of residents in Jeffco.


Affordable housing is undeniably a kitchen-table issue, intricately linked to economic stability, education, health, and community well-being. Including an economic mobility lens and focusing on the impact on debt and family finances enriches the analysis, highlighting affordable housing’s role as a transformative force for individuals and communities. Drawing on research and case studies, particularly in Colorado and Jeffco, emphasizes the need for a nuanced and localized approach to address affordable housing challenges comprehensively. By incorporating more extensive data, policymakers, community leaders, and residents can craft solutions that resonate with the unique dynamics of Jeffco, improving not only residents’ housing situation but the entire suite of issues on each of our kitchen tables.