DENVER — Friday, Aug. 7, 2015 — Gov. Hickenlooper today commended the award of $5.3 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to support Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) projects in Denver, Greeley, and Lakewood, creating 282 units of housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness or with severe special needs, the highest number of this type of housing in Colorado’s history.
A significant milestone in the state’s commitment to provide supportive housing for Colorado’s most vulnerable populations, the five projects are the result of a longstanding collaboration between the Governor’s Office, the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA).
“Combining affordable housing with access to support services like case management, employment training, and mental health treatment, these projects will strengthen Colorado’s overall continuum of homeless services and give residents the opportunity to live stable, autonomous, and dignified lives,” Hickenlooper said.
Earlier this week, CHFA announced the most recent recipients of federal LIHTC, which is used to support the development and preservation of affordable rental housing. Among the 14 LIHTC award recipients, the following four are PSH developments: Renaissance Downtown Lofts in Denver, Saint Francis Apartments at Cathedral Square in Denver, Sanderson Apartments in Denver, and 40 West Residences in Lakewood. In a previous LIHTC award this year, another PSH development, Guadalupe Apartments in Greeley, received a combination of both state and federal LIHTC.
A study completed in August 2014 found that while Colorado had an existing inventory of 7,800 PSH units, in order to meet the needs of individuals and families living in emergency shelters or experiencing homelessness, an additional 5,800 new PSH units were needed.
To help meet this demand, the Governor’s Office, and CHFA partnered with Enterprise Community Partners and LeBeau Development to create a capacity building program called 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 for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
Following participation in the Pathways Toolkit program, the developers of these PSH projects were successful in securing LIHTC, 154 project-based vouchers awarded by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, 24 matching vouchers provided by the Greeley Housing Authority, and 105 matching vouchers provided by the Denver Housing Authority to help make their projects financially viable.
A joint underwriting process led by the Governor’s Office, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, and CHFA established a coordinated set of application standards, submission deadlines, and review processes during the 2015 LIHTC application round.
“Previously, communities working to develop this type of housing intervention applied for each pool of resources separately. Working with CHFA we are encouraging more high-quality applications across the state,” said Irv Halter, executive director of DOLA.
These long-term rent subsidies, in combination with the $48 million in equity estimated to be generated from the sale of the LIHTC awarded to the five developments, and the capacity building efforts of the Pathways Home Supportive Housing Toolkit is expected to increase the number of high-quality PSH units available across Colorado by 254 percent.
In addition to the improved health status and reduced emergency services for PSH residents, these projects are expected to provide a significant economic impact to their respective communities. Pathways Village, a 40-unit PSH project that participated the Pathways Home Supportive Housing Toolkit and recently broke ground in Grand Junction, is estimated to generate $11 million in economic impact and support 53 jobs.
“CHFA is pleased to see how the Pathways Home Supportive Housing Toolkit is helping stakeholders advance their goals to best leverage resources and partnerships required to address homelessness in their communities. We have been proud to support the development of 282 permanent supportive homeless housing units with tax credits this year. In fact, due to the success of the Toolkit, this is the highest number of homeless housing units supported in any single-year in CHFA’s history,” said Cris White, executive director and CEO of CHFA.