New Affordable Housing Community to Break Ground in Colorado Springs
On Wednesday, Aug. 25, a new supportive housing community will break ground in Colorado Springs. The Commons, located on the east side of Colorado Springs at 3770 E. Uintah Street near the Citadel Mall, is a partnership between Colorado Springs-based Homeward Pikes Peak (HPP) and Denver-based affordable housing nonprofit Rocky Mountain Communities (RMC). The project will include two phases with up to 120 rental units including 50 units of permanent supportive housing (PSH) in the first phase.
“We are thrilled to bring this new housing available to families, Veterans, and individuals experiencing homelessness,” said Beth Roalstad, executive director of Homeward Pikes Peak. “This is the first PSH project that will serve families in our community which has been an important gap to fill for quite some time. The Commons will become an integral part of our community’s response to the lack of affordable housing.”
The development team for The Commons includes co-partners Homeward Pikes Peak and Rocky Mountain Communities, and Dominium, a national for-profit developer of affordable housing, who is providing pro bono development services to the project. E+A Architects designed the project and coordinated engineering and consulting services. BeauxSimone Consulting assisted in navigating the complex landscape of state and local regulations. Bryan Construction, headquartered in Colorado Springs, has been selected as the general contractor.
Apartments will include a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom units to address the needs of individuals and families who are currently experiencing homelessness. Twenty percent of the units will be reserved for veterans experiencing homelessness. In addition to housing, The Commons will offer behavioral health support for residents. HPP will accept residents with no income or insurance, with criminal histories, evictions, and with domestic violence issues. HPP will provide on-site social work staff utilizing “housing first principles” which provide housing stability first followed by complimentary supportive services including case management, health care, support groups, substance abuse recovery groups, job skills training and job search supports, recreational and socialization opportunities, personal financial management/budgeting, and many others. RMC will provide property management services.
“As an organization whose mission is to build brighter futures by investing in resident-focused affordable housing and services, we are proud to partner with Homeward Pikes Peak on The Commons,” said Dontae Latson, chief executive officer at Rocky Mountain Communities. “The timing of this project could not be more ideal as we continue to see the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on so many people in our communities. Our goal with The Commons, as with our eight other properties, is to support residents so they can live fuller, more successful lives.”
The four-story building planned for phase one will include an elevator, a large multi-purpose room, an area for health and fitness, a library, and a computer lab for clients. The building has been designed with lessons learned from trauma-informed care that will help support residents’ needs for safety while improving lines of sight for staff to ensure the security and safety of residents, staff, and visitors. The Commons is expected to open in fall 2022.
Construction and permanent financing is being provided by ANB Bank. Tax credit financing is being provided through Enterprise Housing Credit Investments. Additional funding is provided by the Department of Local Affairs and the City of Colorado Springs, the Division of Housing for tenant services, and the El Pomar Foundation. The project also received a grant through the FHLB Topeka Affordable Housing Program. The Colorado Springs Housing Authority is a special limited partner.