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Denver Fast-tracks Affordable Housing Production Made Possible by $130M in Bonds

Alayna Alvarez, Colorado PoliticsOct 25, 2019 Updated Dec 3, 2019

Denver’s affordable housing fund doubled Friday after the Housing Authority of the city and county of Denver closed on the issuance of nearly $130 million intergovernmental agreement bonds.

The transaction marked the largest single financing in DHA’s 80-year history and will accelerate affordable housing production and preservation through the “DHA Delivers for Denver” Program (D3).

“DHA is a critical partner in this effort,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement, “and through this funding surge we will deploy more funding quicker to support our residents and families without increasing costs on the very households we are working to serve.”

The $129.8 million bond proceeds will fund construction and maintenance of about 2,500 affordable housing units, according to a press release. The units contribute to the city’s five-year plan to tackle housing and add at least 6,000 units across Denver.

Half of funding is dedicated both to the acquisition of buildings, land and/or subsidized rental housing that can be developed for Denver residents with the lowest incomes, as well as the development of permanent housing that will offer “intensive supportive services” for residents experiencing homelessness.

The other half of proceeds will fast-track over the next five years nearly 1,300 affordable housing units.

“Through the D3 Bonds, we are accelerating and expanding our housing production, completing in five years what would normally require 10 years or more,” DHA Executive Director Ismael Guerrero said in a statement. “[The funding] is a clear demonstration of our commitment to being a vital part of the housing solution for the city of Denver.”

DHA, in anticipation of the nearly $130 million, got a head start accelerating its housing production pipeline, “delivering or commencing construction” on roughly 900 housing units over the next year, according to the press release.

One example is the redevelopment of a vacant Denver Health office building on Broadway. The project will create 110 new units for Denverites earning between 20 and 60 percent area median income (AMI). Fourteen single-room units will serve as transitional housing for Denver Health patients who risk homelessness upon release.

Another example of acceleration in DHA’s housing production pipeline is the redevelopment of Shoshone Apartments. Ten aging townhome units will be revamped into a “modern” three-story, 53-unit apartment building that serves individuals and families between 30 and 80 percent AMI.

Guerrero said bond proceeds were made possible by DHA and the city of Denver, S.B. Clark, Butler Snow, J.P. Morgan and Stifel Nicolaus.