Denver is a step closer to funding an apartment complex that, according to those involved in the project, would be the first of its kind in the U.S.
On Wednesday, a Denver City Council committee approved $2.4 million that would help pay for construction and services for the 72-unit apartment complex on East Colfax Avenue. The complex would offer housing and services for low-income residents, including for people experiencing homelessness who have brain injuries. The full council will vote on the contract at a later date.
Valor on the Fax will be located at 7900 East Colfax Ave. on a city-owned parcel. Units would be reserved for people experiencing homelessness and people earning up to 30 percent of the area median income, which for Denver would be $21,000 for a single person.
City deputy director of housing opportunity Debra Bustos said in an interview with Denverite before Wednesday’s meeting that the complex was planned with community feedback.
“Any housing units that we can develop is healthy,” Bustos said. “This type of housing in particular is very valuable because this is the population that has the greatest need when it comes to housing. There aren’t a lot of options for people earning less than 30 percent of area median income.”
Brothers Redevelopment, which specializes in affordable housing, will build the complex. The city’s contribution, which would pay for construction and cover services at the complex like 24-hour front desk support and RTD passes for residents, is a fraction of the $23.6 million the overall project would cost. A majority of the money paying for the project will come from the state housing authority and federal low income housing tax credits, according to a presentation given at the meeting.
Brothers Redevelopment President Jeff Martinez called the project unique, since the complex will partner with Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado to provide services for people living with brain injuries. Gavin Attwood, CEO at Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado, said studies have suggested that more than 60 percent of people experiencing homelessness have had a brain injury at some point. Attwood said this project is likely the first of its kind in the country.
Megan Yonke, housing development officer with the city’s Department of Housing Stability, said construction on the site would likely start in April. Department spokesperson Derek Woodbury said in an email that over the past four months, the department has invested $9.95 million into three other supportive housing projects that will produce 182 homes.
Valor on the Fax will include 47 one-bedroom, 19 two-bedroom and 6 three-bedroom apartments. Residents would receive housing vouchers to help pay their rent.
The location where the complex will be built is currently vacant. The empty parcel will be sold to Brothers Redevelopment for $10, with the understanding that it will be turned into affordable housing.