DENVER – Oct. 5, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — Gov. John Hickenlooper today commended state agencies and partners for their second year of significant investment in providing permanent supportive housing for homeless and special needs populations across Colorado.
The Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) will award 134 housing choice vouchers, and $7.1 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) will be awarded from Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) in 2016 to support the creation of 246 units of Permanent Supportive Housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness or with severe special needs in Boulder, Cañon City, Colorado Springs, Denver, Eagle County, Longmont and Towaoc on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation.
Each project represents a major milestone in the long-standing collaboration between the Governor’s Office, DOLA and CHFA to increase access to high-quality supportive housing for vulnerable populations with significant barriers to housing stability.
“Whether it’s due to the loss of a job, high housing costs, family break-up or illness, losing a home can happen to anyone. By combining affordable housing and supportive services, each of these dynamic projects resolves homelessness, improves health outcomes, and reduces the use of publicly-funded crisis services including shelters, hospitals, psychiatric centers, jail, and prisons,” said Gov. Hickenlooper.
Last month, CHFA announced the most recent recipients of federal LIHTC, which is used to support the development and preservation of affordable rental housing.
Among the 13 LIHTC award recipients, the following three are Permanent Supportive Housing developments: Attention Homes in Boulder, Greenway Flats in Colorado Springs and Journey Home in Cañon City. In a previous LIHTC award round this year, three other Permanent Supportive Housing developments were awarded state and federal LIHTC allocations: Arroyo Village & Lowry Family Housing in Denver and Suites Supportive Housing in Longmont,.
“CHFA is pleased to share a dedication to addressing homelessness with so many partners, which is evidenced by the increase in new Permanent Supportive Housing developments being built to serve communities throughout the state. This year’s LIHTC awards represent the first young-adult oriented Permanent Supportive Housing project in Colorado, as well as the first developments of their kind in Cañon City and Colorado Springs,” said Cris White, executive director and CEO of CHFA.
The 11-unit South Towaoc Supportive Housing project in Towaoc was funded by DOLA through various grant funds in partnership with CHFA’s $250,000 Housing Opportunity Fund investment. DOLA also awarded 26 vouchers to Renaissance at North Colorado Station in Denver and eight vouchers to Eagle County.
Permanent Supportive Housing is an outcome-driven housing intervention that links affordable housing with access to support services in order to help families and individuals struggling with addiction, mental health and/or other disabilities stay housed and live more productive lives.
A study completed in August 2014 found that while Colorado had an existing inventory of 7,800 Permanent Supportive Housing units, in order to meet the needs of individuals and families living in emergency shelters or on the streets, an additional 5,800 new units were needed. To help meet this demand, the State of Colorado and CHFA partnered with Enterprise Community Partners and LeBeau Development to create the capacity-building program known as the Pathways Home Supportive Housing Toolkit. The Toolkit is a series of technical assistance and peer learning sessions designed to help nonprofits, housing authorities, and other homeless service providers develop high-quality supportive housing.
134 project-based vouchers awarded by DOLA’s Division of Housing, 32 vouchers provided by the Colorado Springs Housing Authority, 55 vouchers from the Denver Housing Authority for Arroyo Village and Lowry Family Housing, and 11 vouchers from the Longmont Housing Authority helps ensure that these projects are financially viable and successful over the long-term.
A joint underwriting process introduced in 2015 by the Governor’s Office, DOLA’s Division of Housing and CHFA established a coordinated set of application standards, submission deadlines and review processes during the first 2016 LIHTC application round.
“Working with the Governor’s Office and CHFA, we are seeing high-quality projects funded across Colorado for the second year in a row. Each of these life-changing buildings is a testament to the power of collaboration and investing in proven solutions,” said Alison George, director of DOLA’s Division of Housing.
These long-term rent subsidies, in combination with the estimated $57.9 million in equity to be generated from the sale of the federal and state LIHTC awarded, is expected to provide a significant economic impact to their respective communities.
Pathways Village, a 40-unit Permanent Supportive Housing project that participated in the Pathways Home Supportive Housing Toolkit and recently opened in Grand Junction, generated $11 million in economic impact and supported 53 jobs.