Affordable, Net-Zero Townhomes Planned for Westminster
Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) is finalizing plans for a 58 home development that includes market-rate and affordable for-sale townhomes in a mixed-income community. To ensure permanent affordability, the land will be held in a 99-year community land trust in partnership with ULC’s affiliate, Elevation Community Land Trust (ECLT), ensuring the housing remains affordable in perpetuity.
In December 2018, Westminster Economic Development Authority (WEDA) sold the 6 acre site located at West 96th Ave. and Federal Blvd, Westminster, in the Holly Park neighborhood, to ULC for $1 to support WEDA’s local affordable housing initiatives.
“Because of the decision by WEDA and the Westminster City Council to support this land donation, the development of affordable townhomes and long-term affordability is made possible for future generations,” states Debra Bustos, ULC’s senior vice president of real estate. “ULC is excited to be working in the City of Westminster. Our strong partnership supports ULC’s mission to create affordable real estate to improve the lives of residents in the region and helps Westminster achieve its affordable housing goals to provide more affordable housing options for Westminster residents.”
ULC is partnering with Thrive Home Builders (Thrive) to develop 58 townhomes, two-thirds of which will be available for future buyers earning 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) or below. Thrive is an award-winning leading builder of energy efficient and healthier homes including net-zero features. They are nationally recognized for their sustainability model, and are a crucial partner supporting ULC’s commitment to energy efficiency and green building practices.
“Thrive is committed to cutting-edge design for the highest energy efficient and clean indoor air homes built in Colorado. For decades, we have made the dream of owning a home a reality for hundreds of families using our energy-efficient model. Through our partnership with ULC, we will develop our first affordable homes in Westminster, while creating monthly cost savings for homeowners,” said Gene Myers, CEO of Thrive Home Builders.
In 2017, the City of Westminster established a task force to address specific affordable housing needs identified in their community, which resulted in an Affordable and Workforce Housing Strategic Plan. The city’s plan focuses on working toward a better housing balance, addressing needs across a broad range of income levels, maximizing partnerships, fostering both the creation of new and the preservation of existing housing units, and setting short and long-term measurable goals to address immediate issues and plan for the future.
“We are dedicated to creating new opportunities for the development of new affordable units to ensure Westminster maintains a competitive advantage in the workforce. We believe every Westminster resident should have a safe, stable, and affordable place to live, and are confident in ULC’s ability to deliver this promise to our community,” said Jenni Grafton, housing policy and development manager for the City of Westminster.
ULC and Thrive will lead a community engagement process in the near future to inform local residents and stakeholders about development plans and to solicit feedback. ULC and Thrive expect to break ground and begin presales in early 2021 with the first occupancy expected in late 2021 or early 2022. ULC intends to partner with Elevation Community Land Trust (ECLT) to identify and prequalify buyers, manage the long-term relationships with homeowners, and serve as stewards of the land to ensure permanent affordability.