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The Fading West Factory. Courtesy image.

Fading West in Buena Vista is one of the Colorado Housing Grant Recipients

In his State of the State address, Governor Polis outlined his vision for Colorado and how to address housing challenges. Governor Polis and the Business Funding and Incentives division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) has announced the first three recipients of the Innovative Housing Incentive Program (IHIP) grant. The grantees include Chaffee County’s own Fading West.

“From the very beginning, Fading West understood modular construction to be a solution to eliminate the housing crisis for the workforce and establish them in the communities they serve. Off-site construction offers quicker build times, minimized risk, a year-round building season, a dedicated labor force, and higher quality housing products,” said Fading West representative Donnie Schell. “We are grateful for the grant from the Innovative Housing Incentive Program which will allow us to continue to accelerate production, including expanding our Colorado-based workforce while delivering high-quality homes to our under-served communities.”

According to the Governor’s Office, this grant is in line with the plans to help create a house for every Colorado budget. It invests in companies working to support Colorado to achieve more housing. The first round of grant funding will directly incentivize the creation of over 1,000 affordable and attainable housing units across Colorado and contribute to the recipients’ work to create more than 4,000 units over the next three years.

The Fading West Home Manufacturing plant is under construction near the Central Colorado Airport in Buena Vista. Photo by Jan Wondra

“It is no secret that Colorado is a great place to live, and we need more housing options now for every budget in every community. The three companies receiving this new funding are finding innovative and efficient ways to expand the housing supply across the state and will create more than 1,000 homes people can afford better with this investment,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This grant will create more housing options and ensure companies have the resources they need to create more housing now.”

IHIP supports the development of modern, innovative, factory-built housing in Colorado. Compared to traditional building practices, modular, manufactured, and kit homes may be produced more efficiently, with less waste, and at a lower cost while also creating stable, year-round, high-quality jobs.

IHIP working capital grants are performance-based incentives that reimburse eligible, Colorado-based innovative housing manufacturers for up to 20 percent of monthly operating expenses, up to $350,000 or $450,000 in Just Transition Communities. Additional funding is available for manufacturers that produce affordable housing and/or build and install units in Colorado.

The first three recipients are experienced Colorado companies that produce affordable, attainable, and energy-efficient housing for distribution within Colorado:

Key Structures – Pueblo, Colorado – A producer of modular housing, Key Structures produces high-quality housing for median-income households. By building units in a controlled environment, the company is able to complete a house in one week that would otherwise take a month to complete in the field. Key Structures qualified for additional funding as a company located in a coal transition community and was awarded up to $1.5 million to construct 250 housing units over the next three years.

Fading West Development – Buena Vista, Colorado – Fading West produces modular housing in a controlled manufacturing environment that allows the company to build a two-story home in as little as 18 days, with site work completed at the same time. This can reduce overall project timelines by as much as 50 percent with cost savings up to 20 percent when compared to traditional site-built homes. The company has been awarded up to $1.4 million for the construction of 333 housing units over three years.

Simple Homes – Denver, Colorado – Simple Homes provides general contractors and homebuilders with turnkey panelized offsite construction that reduces framing time by 50-75 percent. Since opening its first manufacturing facility in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood in late 2019, the company has delivered over 650 units across Colorado. Simple Homes was awarded up to $1.3 million for the construction of 450 housing units over three years.

“The companies recognized demonstrate the potential of IHIP to make a difference across Colorado. From Pueblo to Buena Vista, innovative housing manufacturers know how to provide affordable and attainable housing for Coloradans and with the support of IHIP can continue to do their great work,” said OEDIT Executive Director Eve Lieberman.

Applications for the IHIP grant are currently being accepted on a rolling basis. IHIP, which was announced in January 2023, will also launch factory development loans to support the development of new factories or the expansion of existing factories. The application window for factory development opens in the coming months. A competitive application process will consider energy efficiency, the percentage of affordable housing units to be produced, the number and quality of jobs to be created, the proposed terms of the loan, and the financial health and qualifications of the applicant.

“These first three companies to receive IHIP grant awards demonstrate the breadth of innovative housing solutions across the state,” said OEDIT Senior Program Manager Jack Tiebout. “Each takes a unique and creative approach to solving Colorado’s housing crisis while creating steady jobs and positive impact on their communities. We’re thrilled to announce these three awards and are eager to see the next wave of applications coming in.”

A total of $40 million in funding, allocated from the State’s General Fund, has been set aside to implement IHIP. The program will be administered by OEDIT in partnership with the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), and with input from Colorado Energy Office and the Governor’s Office. Learn more at

IHIP is part of an emerging suite of OEDIT-affiliated programs that offer housing financing tools to help increase the supply of affordable and attainable housing across Colorado. These programs include the Proposition 123 Affordable Housing Financing Fund, staffing of the Middle Income Housing Authority and work by the Colorado Creative Industries Division via the Community Revitalization and Space to Create programs.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) works with partners to create a positive business climate that encourages dynamic economic development and sustainable job growth. Under the leadership of Governor Jared Polis, they strive to advance the State’s economy through financial and technical assistance that fosters local and regional economic development activities throughout Colorado.