On Federal Boulevard, 49 housing units for people experiencing homelessness will get city money

The supportive housing project will provide rooms mostly through referrals from agencies in the city.

Federal Boulevard, July 20, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Federal Boulevard, July 20, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

The city will provide a loan and chip in money to pay for services at a 50-unit affordable housing complex on Federal Boulevard for the city’s poorest residents.

Denver City Council on Monday approved giving REDI Corporation a $1.5 million loan and $825,000 to pay for supportive services at Rhonda’s Place, which will have 49 one-bedroom units available for people making up to 30 percent of the area median income (one other unit will be for an on-site manager). The housing complex will be located in the city’s Barnum neighborhood, at 211-225 South Federal Blvd.

REDI Corporation, which owns the vacant lot on Federal Boulevard, has hired Blueline Development to build the complex.

The units will be available for people experiencing chronic homelessness. Megan Yonke, a Housing Development Officer for the city, said most of the units will be for people referred by agencies helping the unhoused, including places like the Mental Health Center of Denver and the Denver Metro Homeless Initiative.

The complex will provide services like behavioral health care, case management and access to transportation. The complex will be located in a high-frequency RTD bus transit area.

The city’s loan is a fraction of the project’s overall $17.3 million price tag. Money for the loan from the city will come from the city’s Homelessness Resolution Fund — which gets its money from local sales tax — while state tax credits and grants will pay for most of the project.

Oriana Sanchez of Blueline Development said when the city changed its rules about minimum parking requirements for developments, it gave more flexibility for a project like this one. So a majority of space that would have been devoted toward parking will instead be taken up by recreational space, like a basketball court. There will still be some on-site parking.

Yonke said construction on site should start this fall and be completed by the end of next year.

The AMI limit on the housing complex means someone can’t make more than $22,050 to be eligible to live at Rhonda’s Place. The complex is named after the late Rhonda Knop, who helped start the REDI Corporation, which seeks to create housing for seniors and people with mental health illnesses.

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