Denver, CO

Denver funnels $30 million into affordable housing

David Heitz

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An artist's rendition of St. Francis West Apartments.Photo byCity and County of Denver

The City and County of Denver pumped about $30 million Monday into three affordable housing developments.

The council voted to issue $11 million in bonds to help finance All Saints Apartments, 2559 S. Federal Blvd. Archdiocesan Housing, Inc. will build the 63-unit affordable housing development.

All Saints will serve seniors making between 30 percent and 60 percent of the average median income, or AMI, which is between $24,650 and about $45,000.

St. Francis Center West to serve homeless seniors

The council also voted to issue $12.5 million in bonds to help finance the three-story, 60-unit St. Francis Center West, 211 N. Federal Blvd. The apartment complex will serve seniors experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. All residents will be restricted to making no more than 30 percent of the average median income, or AMI for Denver, which is $24,650 or less.

The building will include 51 one-bedroom units and nine two-bedroom units. It will be oriented north-south along Federal Boulevard. Trauma-informed design elements will be included.

“The units are anticipated to include high efficiency elements including high performing windows and insulation, and energy star rated lighting and appliances,” according to an executive summary to council. “The building is anticipated to include several community spaces, a small courtyard, kitchen and dining area, an activity/game room, business center/computer area, reception desk, leasing office, mail room, and laundry rooms on each floor.”

Construction is set to begin this summer.

Affordable housing in La Alma-Lincoln Park

The council also voted to loan $5.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act money to Shanahan Development, LLC. The developer will use the money to buy the land on which to build a 190-unit affordable housing complex at 1530 W. 13th Ave.

A 60-year covenant will guarantee the six-story complex will remain affordable housing. The development will serve people with AMIs of 30 to 80 percent annually, or between $24,650 and $62,600 for one person. A quarter of the units will be three- and four-bedroom and residents will park in a 160-space garage.

“Denver continues to leverage ARPA funds to make transformational investments that boost our community’s supply of and access to affordable housing,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said in a news release. “We’re proud to make affordable homes possible at this site for hard-working individuals and families for decades to come.”

There is 25,925 income-restricted housing units in Denver, according to the news release. "HOST has recently provided financing for 1,701 affordable units that are currently under construction at 33 sites throughout the city. An additional 930 income-restricted units are in the planning stage."

Denver’s recovery plan includes direct distribution of $308 million in ARPA funds.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here. You can email me news releases and story ideas at NewsBreakDave@gmail.com

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