A new affordable housing project just opened and it’s already full

The ribbons have scarcely been cut, and there’s already no availability left in Ruby Hill Residences’ affordable housing.

staff photo

The ribbons have scarcely been cut, and there’s already no availability left in Ruby Hill Residences’ affordable housing.

The 114-unit building at 1144 S. Pecos St. is already 90 percent leased and owner Henry Burgwyn says that all the units are now reserved. That took just 5 months.

“That’s very fast,” Burgwyn said. “We haven’t had an affordable housing project of this magnitude in southwest Denver built in many decades. So there was a huge pent-up demand.”

The Denver Office of Economic Development, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the Colorado Division of Housing contributed financing toward the $20.4 million project. The city’s share was a $875,000 loan from federal housing funds. That guarantees the units will remain affordable for at least the next 40 years.

The units count towards Mayor Michael Hancock’s 3×5 initiative to create or preserve 3,000 affordable housing units over five years. Some people think the mayor’s plan doesn’t go far enough to address the shortage, and certainly the speed with which Ruby Hill Residences filled up says something about the need out there.

Twenty-eight of the one- and two-bedroom units went to formerly homeless veterans. Another 29 units will be rented by households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. That’s $33,600 for a single person and $43,200 for a family of three.

The Denver Housing Authority referred people earning less than 50 percent AMI ($28,000 for an individual) to Burgwyn for the final 57 units. Many of these people were formerly homeless, Burgwyn said.