Affordable housing gets boost

Highlights:

  • Affordable housing development gets a boost.
  • TOD fund has been expanded.
  • Fund has $24 million.
Affordable housing is a key component under this development by ULC along the Evans light rail line in Denver. The development benefitted from the TOD Fund.

Affordable housing is a key component under this Evan Station Lofts development by ULC along the Evans light rail line in Denver. The development benefitted from the TOD Fund.

Affordable housing developments near transit lines in the Denver metro area are getting a boost, under a  plan announced today.

The Denver Transit Oriented Development Fund is expanding its focus to include the seven county Denver metro area, officials said.

The $24 million regional fund will be used to finance property acquisition and pre-development loans for developers creating and preserving affordable homes along transit corridors in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties, according to Enterprise Community Partners Inc. and Enterprise Community Loan Fund Inc.

Enterprise officials were joined by Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, city and state officials, fund investors and affordable housing partners to announce the regional expansion of the fund.

Affordable housing near transit is critical not only for Denver, but for the region, says Mayor Michael B. Hancock.

Affordable housing near transit is critical not only for Denver, but for the region, says Mayor Michael B. Hancock.

“Affordable housing is a critical issue not just for the city, but for our entire metro area,” Hancock said.

“The Denver TOD Fund has proven itself to be a successful tool in ensuring that low- and moderate-income families benefit from the build-out of our mass transit system,” Hancock continued.

“We’re thrilled to expand the fund, leveraging additional resources for Denver while broadening the fund’s success throughout the metro area,” he said.

Affordable Housing and TOD

The Denver Regional TOD Fund will focus on affordable housing preservation and development within a half mile of light and commuter rail and a quarter mile of high frequency bus routes.

The expanded fund aims to create 2,000 new affordable homes and other supportive community facilities near transit by 2024.

Community developments financed through the fund will provide affordable for-sale homes for families earning below 95 percent of area median income  and affordable rental homes that will serve families earning below 60 percent of AMI, or $46,000 for a family of four.

Typical monthly rents will range from $400 to $1,000, depending on unit size and household income.

The expansion of the fund was made possible by critical investments from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the Colorado Division of Housing.

“The Colorado Division of Housing and Attorney General John Suthers are pleased to support the expansion of the Denver TOD Fund and universally designed homes throughout the Denver metro area,” said deputy director Alison George.

“The Denver TOD fund provides a unique opportunity to expand housing near transportation centers giving people with disabilities greater choice in housing and the freedom to embrace and fully access their community,” George continued.

“CHFA has been a proud partner of the Denver TOD Fund since its inception,” said Jaime Gomez, CHFA’s Chief Operating Officer.

“The new regional expansion will help low- and moderate-income residents all over the metro area tremendously,” Gomez continued.

Affordable housing near transit helps economy

“Furthering the access of affordable transit-oriented housing allows for more families to reduce their transportation costs and save money for other essentials, which overall, helps strengthen our local economies and communities,” Gomez said.

The first of-its-kind in the nation, Denver TOD Fund was launched in 2010 with $13.5 million in lending capital and $1.5 million of committed equity from the Urban Land Conservancy  as the sole borrower.

The fund has invested in the preservation and creation of 570 affordable homes throughout the city, including residential communities at Yale Station, Evans Station, 38th & Blake Station, 40th and Colorado Station, and several primary bus routes, as well as nonprofit office spaces and other community facilities.

Last month, Denver City Council approved the expansion of the program into a regional fund.

Affordable housing needed in thriving neighborhoods

The expansion essentially revolves the original $13.5 million in financing to benefit Denver for at least 10 additional years, while bringing an additional $10.5 million investment to the city and region.

“Enterprise is extremely proud to be able to announce the Denver Regional TOD Fund,” said Brad Weinig, who led the expansion effort on behalf of Enterprise.

“We cannot express enough gratitude to our investors and partners who have trusted us to lead this work, and to ULC for proving that this model can work,” he added.

Enterprise Community Loan Fund president Lori Chatman added: “Both the geographic and capital expansion of the Denver TOD Fund will enable us to better create opportunity for Denver metro area residents as we connect affordable homes to transit, jobs, good schools, and health care.”

Enterprise’s goal is to end housing insecurity in the U.S. within a generation. hat means no more homelessness and no more families paying more than half of their income on housing.

As a down payment toward that goal, by 2020 Enterprise will help provide opportunity to a million low-income families through quality affordable housing in thriving neighborhoods.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee Co. and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.

 

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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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