Ford has a better idea – a $500,000 grant

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The Ford Foundation has provided a $500,000 grant to a collaborative of 13 leading nonprofits – such as the Denver Foundation and the Anschutz Family Foundation –  to ensure that transit-oriented development near the FasTracks light-rail and bus system  provides access to affordable housing, good paying jobs, and essential services, the organizations announced today. The grant is a part of the Ford Foundation’s Metropolitan Opportunity work, which seeks to transform the way cities, suburbs and surrounding communities grow and plan for the future, promoting a new metropolitan approach that interweaves housing, transportation and land use policy to foster economic growth for all.

FasTracks a model

“We believe that Denver’s effort to create a world class regional transportation system that benefits all its residents has great potential to serve as a model for others,” said Lisa Davis, program officer, Ford Foundation. “By uniting a strong network of leaders from nonprofits, business and government, this effort is poised to strengthen the vitality of Denver’s communities and ensure that all its citizens have equal access to opportunity across the region. We are very excited about the formation of the Mile High Transit Opportunity Collaborative and are happy to seed its initial work.”

The announcement was made at  Mile High Vista,  transit-oriented development  property recently purchased by the Urban Land Conservancy  with the Denver TOD Fund. The collaborative, which is comprised of four non-profit organizations, eight local philanthropic organizations and the Ford Foundation were joined by members of the community to celebrate this announcement.

Activities funded through the grant and local organizations matching resources include:

  • The formation of the Mile High Transit Opportunity Collaborative.
  • Educational events for regional stakeholders.
  • Exploration of the expansion of the existing Denver TOD Fund to a regional acquisition finance resource for community development.
  • Funding for local community development corporations to develop their role in the effort.

Public transit opportunities

“It is with great enthusiasm that we gathered today to recognize the Ford Foundation and to celebrate what will become an exciting part of our living history,” said Patrick Horvath of the Denver Foundation, a leading member of the collaborative. “Through this effort we will document current inequity in our region, provide vision and leadership for improving opportunities for all communities across the region near public transit, convene regional leaders and ultimately invest further resources, so that we all can move forward to achieve equitable communities centered on the metro region’s expanding transit system.”

The collaborative is comprised of regional and national organizations Enterprise Community Partners, FRESC, Reconnecting America and ULC; and nine foundations including the Anschutz Family Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation, The Denver Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, Housing and Homelessness Funders Collaborative,  Kaiser Permanente Colorado, The Piton Foundation, Rose Community Foundation and U.S. Bank’s foundation.

As the collaborative picks up momentum, it is expected that other organizations will join as well.

 

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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