- Denver Housing Authority gets $500,000 HUD grant.
- Grant is for Sun Valley, Denver’s poorest neighborhood.
- FasTracks light rail line is a step in the right direction.
The Denver Housing Authority has been awarded a federal grant of $500,000 to help revitalize Sun Valley, Denver’s poorest neighborhood.
The average household income is only $8,000 in the 30-acre, 333-unit project originally constructed in 1950.
U.S. Housing Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced on Friday that Sun Valley is one of nine communities across the U.S. that will receive a Choice Neighborhood Grant.
The $4.37 million awarded to all of the communities are to be used to craft comprehensive, community-driven plans to revitalize and transform public or other HUD-assisted housing and distressed neighborhoods.
Sun Valley is the “most isolated and distressed housing asset,” in DHA’s portfolio, the authority said in its application for the HUD grant.
“The residents of Sun Valley Homes and the neighboring federally subsidized housing, Decatur Place, earn the lowest incomes in Denver,” noting that 85 percent of the residents live below the poverty line.
“This neighborhood is also challenged by disproportionately high crime rates and limited access to surrounding communities as it is landlocked by the local professional football stadium, light industrial parks, interstate highways, and the South Platte River,” according to DHA.
However, the enclave in the shadow of Sports Authority Field, already is benefitting from the opening of the FasTracks West Corridor light rail line earlier this year, which links it to Denver and western suburbs.
“Sun Valley Homes and its surrounding community hold enormous potential for redevelopment,” DHA noted.
The goal of DHA is three-pronged:
- Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.
- People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth and supports delivered directly to youth and their families;
- Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families’ choices about their community.
DHA will be the master developer and Design Workshop is the planning coordinator.
The total project cost is $1.3 million.
The nine winning communities were chosen from 52 applicants.
“Through this investment, HUD is providing the resources for local leaders to transform neighborhoods into thriving communities where families will choose to live,” said Donovan.
“The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative represents the next generation in a movement toward revitalizing entire neighborhoods by providing critically needed funding to support locally-driven economic development solutions in these areas.”
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