October 24, 2012

Community Development from the Ground Up

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Community development is a key component in meeting HUD’s goal of improving quality of life for all Americans. In Denver, there has been a concerted effort to become more deliberate in meeting the housing needs of the community. Whether it’s for ending homelessness, supporting veterans, or boosting the local economy, HUD’s Community Planning and Development funds have been hard at work.

Recently the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Community Planning and Development, Mark Johnston, toured two sites which are setting the standard for meeting the housing needs of homeless and low-income families. A third site he visited, called TAXI, is a 20-acre project in the River North offering creative and flexible workspaces and residential areas.

Ending Homelessness – The Renaissance West End Flats

The Renaissance West End Flats was developed by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and features 101 affordable rental units. The building offers a common-sense approach to sustainable living by including medical, mental health and social services for the residents and the homeless and uninsured families of West Denver. The total cost of the development was approximately $18 million, of which HUD provided approximately $6 million.

Supporting Veterans – Del Norte’s Veterans Housing

The second site Acting Assistant Secretary Johnston toured was developed by the Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation. Del Norte’s Veterans Housing provides 27 units of affordable rental housing. It is Colorado’s first self-contained apartment building dedicated to providing permanent housing for homeless veterans and their families.

This development is also supported by the partnership between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs through the HUD-VASH program. The site offers, among many other features, on-site case management services tailored to each tenant and family. The total cost of the development was approximately $6.8 million, of which HUD provided approximately $895,000.

Boosting Local Economy – TAXI

The last site Acting Assistant Secretary Johnston toured, aptly named TAXI, was developed on the old location of Denver’s Yellow Cab company headquarters. It has since been converted into a 175,000 square foot, mixed use community. TAXI currently houses 60 businesses employing more than 300 people. It is an eclectic mix of new and old design and is quickly becoming one of the trendiest locations in Denver. The most recent phase, TAXI Drive, is expected to house an additional 200+ long term tech and creative jobs. HUD provided approximately $7.9 million to help start this development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about how HUD is transforming your community, visit the program office of Community Planning and Development’s webpage at www.hud.gov.

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