Nor'wood Development Group
, the biggest developer in the region, will help build a $14 million
complex for permanent support housing for 65 homeless people. That makes the cost per-person for construction $215,385.
Of course, the idea, hopefully, is to use the complex's rooms to transition people through the facility, not house the same people forever. The area's chronic homeless population is 355
, according to the most recent count earlier this year, the city reports, so this will at least scratch the surface.
In any event, Nor'wood sent the news release to other news outlets on Thursday, but didn't provide one to the Independent
until asked for it today.
The news release, which appears below, doesn't explain who's putting how much actual cash into the deal. While it appears there is some public money involved, through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority
's tax credits and federal funds received by the city, there's no mention of whether Nor'wood will contribute from its pocket or actually make a profit on the construction.
Dubbed Greenway Flats
, the building will be located on the campus of Springs Rescue Mission
at 31 W. Las Vegas St., a good distance from Nor'wood's Southwest Downtown Urban Renewal Area
where it hopes to build millions of square feet of apartments, retail and office space near the planned Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame
Springs Rescue Mission and Nor’wood Development Group today announced a partnership to build Greenway Flats, designed to provide permanent supportive housing serving up to 65 people experiencing chronic homelessness. Permanent Supportive Housing is an evidence-based approach that provides ongoing housing with wrap-around supportive services for residents. The announcement comes just two weeks after Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers challenged city, nonprofit and business leaders to create innovative solutions to address the city’s need for affordable and low-income housing.
The 65-unit Greenway Flats apartments will break ground in 2017 and open in 2018 on the Springs Rescue Mission campus at 31 W. Las Vegas St., just south of downtown Colorado Springs. Nor’wood will build the apartment building, and residents of the new facility have direct access to the services and resources of Springs Rescue Mission.
Funding for the $14 million project comes from a variety of sources, including 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), El Paso County Housing Trust Fund and City of Colorado Springs HOME funds. The CHFA tax credits were awarded last week through an application and approval process.
“The new facility gives our most at-risk and vulnerable neighbors a place to call home,” said Larry Yonker, president and CEO of Springs Rescue Mission. “By meeting these individuals’ basic need of housing, we’re free to do what we do best: provide services and resources for those experiencing homelessness and help them on a track to full recovery in mind, body and soul.”
Springs Rescue Mission is undergoing a phased campus expansion to increase overnight shelter operations to serve up to 180 people nightly by November 2016. Thanks to the commitment of partner organizations, Greenway Flats will provide much needed permanent and affordable housing, enabling Spring Rescue Mission to expand its reach to more than 300 individuals and families.
Greenway Flats was developed through the Pathways Home Colorado Supportive Housing Toolkit, a program created by the State of Colorado and CHFA in partnership with LeBeau Development, the City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County.
“This project represents a major milestone in Colorado’s ongoing efforts to ensure that everyone has a safe place to call home,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “Greenway Flats will reduce emergency costs, improve health outcomes, and give residents the stability and support they need to thrive.”
“Addressing homelessness is a high priority of CHFA,” said Cris White, CHFA executive director and CEO. “Greenway Flats is a critical development for the Colorado Springs community and will make a lasting impact on those it serves.”
“It heartens me greatly to see our community and CHFA taking clear action in support of our community’s urgent need for augmented homeless services and affordable housing,” said Mayor John Suthers. “This partnership represents a tangible step forward in our efforts to address the issue of chronic homelessness. We are grateful to CHFA and the State of Colorado for heeding our call to action here in our community.”
“Greenway Flats brings the Housing First model to our city center, ensuring that those most in need are provided a home not just for a night but long-term, putting them on a surer path toward a more stable future,” said Susan Edmondson, CEO of Downtown Partnership.
Nor’wood Development Group, a local developer and owner of real estate in Colorado Springs, has committed to partner with Springs Rescue Mission because of their deeply rooted devotion to improving the quality of life for all citizens in the Pikes Peak region.
“We at Nor'wood are dedicated to do all that we can to help improve our City and help Colorado Springs achieve our collective goals, including bringing our professional experience forward as partners in active philanthropy to provide safe and affordable housing for those in our community hurting the most," said Chris Jenkins, President of Nor’wood Development Group. "Our partnership with the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, the State of Colorado and Springs Rescue Mission is proof that we are better together.”
Here are other photos of the project also:
Suthers pushed for an ordinance that would make it illegal to sit or lie downtown, a measure that won Council approval several months ago and clearly targets the homeless population.
Downtown merchants have complained about homeless people chasing away business in the core area, and some tourists have posted comments on tourism sites about vagrants in downtown Colorado Springs.