New affordable homes land in Globeville Elyria-Swansea community with the help of cranes

The homes are being built with the goal of ensuring homeownership for local families at risk of displacement due to gentrification.
3 min. read
A modular unit is lowered onto a plot of land in the Globeville Elyria-Swansea neighborhood on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. The prefabricated townhomes are being sold for $180,000.
Tony Gorman/CPR News

A huge crane towers over the Globeville Elyria-Swansea neighborhood on a cold Saturday morning. Construction workers are making preparations to add the newest additions to the area: pre-fabricated homes.

Five modular units were lifted and installed on Josephine Street. Together, the two-story building is composed of five three-bedroom townhomes.

Brothers Redevelopment and the Globeville Elyria-Swansea Affordable Housing Collaborative have been installing these types of homes since 2017. It's an effort to provide affordable housing using an alternative, and less costly, construction model during a time when house and rent prices are high.

A modular unit is lowered onto a plot of land in the Globeville Elyria-Swansea neighborhood on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022.
Tony Gorman/CPR News

"The families are always excited and energized by days like today where they can really get to see what we're doing and see their homes being placed on these foundations," said Jeff Martinez, president of Brothers Redevelopment.

The Josephine site was acquired with financial assistance from various entities as part of an effort to build affordable housing. A mix of 11 modular and rehabilitated units have been constructed in the Globeville Elyria Swansea neighborhood so far, and seven more are already planned.

The City and County of Denver provided $2 million for the overall, ongoing effort. The Colorado Department of Transportation also awarded the collaborative a $2 million grant. The Colorado Health Foundation provided $600,000.

The new housing community costs a total of $1.7 million. These homes, depending on the unit, will cost between $190,000 and $215,000. The program is targeted though not restricted to residents of Globeville or Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, where families have been displaced or at-risk of displacement from the area due to the reconstruction of Central-70 or gentrification caused by the rising housing costs.

Their income must not exceed 80% of the area median income which is $50,000 to $70,000. The homes will also be placed into the GES Tierra Colectiva community land trust.

Rendering of the affordable homes in Elyria-Swansea.
Courtesy of Adam Berger Development

"Like all parts of Metro Denver right now, housing is at a premium and the cost has skyrocketed ever since we've been involved in this effort since 2017," Martinez said. "It's been really difficult to get a foothold and secure units that can be placed into an affordable community land trust like this one. But we've still been working at it."

Brothers Redevelopment plans to bring three more units on a site near Fillmore Street.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the correct price range of the homes and to note that the program is not restricted to Globeville Elyria-Swansea residents. It has also been clarified to reflect that funding from the City and County of Denver and Colorado Department of Transportation was for the overall project not just these five homes.

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