As Colorado’s affordable housing crisis continues to intensify, Brothers Redevelopment is bringing housing options to the table — particularly for those facing displacement in Denver and the justice involved population in Arapahoe County.
Toward the end of 2022, Brothers announced housing projects in the Globeville Elyria-Swansea neighborhood and in Arapahoe County.
In December, Brothers brought five three-bedroom townhomes to 4401 Josephine St. that will be sold to neighborhood families facing displacement and placed into the GES Tierra Colectiva community owned land trust. Shortly before the townhomes were set, Brothers and Arapahoe County announced the construction of a $3 million permanent supportive housing project for 80 to 100 justice-involved individuals in the county who are unhoused.
Collectively, Brothers counts 21 communities providing more than 850 units in its portfolio, bringing badly needed affordable housing to neighbors in six metro area counties along the front range. Here is a look at how the Globeville Elyria-Swansea and Arapahoe County projects will positively impact Colorado’s housing landscape.
Preserving the Globeville Elyria-Swansea neighborhood
On a chilly December morning, neighbors of the Globeville Elyria-Swansea neighborhood gathered with coffee and breakfast burritos to watch construction crews use a giant crane to hoist and set the townhomes. The housing was a welcoming site for an area that has seen gentrification take place because of the reconstruction of Interstate 70, rising housing costs, and real estate speculation by outside investors.
Each of the townhomes will be sold for no more than $180,000 each to qualified buyers whose incomes do not exceed 80% of Area Median Income. The homes will also be placed into the GES Tierra Colectiva — a community owned land trust that will preserve affordability for generations to come.
Since 2017, the GES Affordable Housing Collaborative — made up of Brothers, the Colorado Community Land Trust/Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver, and the GES Coalition — have been working to spur affordable housing options in the Globeville Elyria-Swansea neighborhood.
The new-five unit community increases the number of affordable homes that the collaborative has acquired and/or developed to 10. The site for the housing was acquired thanks to financial assistance from the City and County of Denver who provided $2 million to the collaborative that leveraged an earlier $2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation. The Colorado Health Foundation also provided a $600,000 grant to develop housing at the Josephine site.
In the near future, Brothers has plans to bring three more housing units on a site near Fillmore Street.
“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. 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 President Jeff Martinez told Denverite.
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Serving a new population in Arapahoe County
Permanent supportive housing is safe and affordable community-based housing. The model uses housing-first, harm reduction and trauma-informed care models to provide shelter and services for unhoused individuals. And it has been nationally recognized as a proven solution to end homelessness because it combines housing and supportive services that enable living stability and independence not available on the streets.
Those reasons, combined with a need for unhoused clients of justice rehabilitation programs in Arapahoe County, are why Brothers is so excited to bring permanent supportive housing to the county.
The upcoming Arapahoe County project will provide housing and services to unhoused clients of the 18th judicial district problem solving courts, the Arapahoe County Pretrial Mental Health Program, Diversion clients of the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Probation Mental Health Program, Project SAFER, Veterans Treatment Court, jail re-entry, and defendants being restored to competency. This facility will improve the health, safety, and rehabilitation of around 100 justice involved clients at a time by addressing rehabilitation needs for those with mental health or substance use disorders while also providing housing resources and needs.
The announcement of this project adds a new demographic of people to a long list of clients that Brothers serves.
Along with providing housing to justice involved individuals, Brothers is preparing to open Valor on the Fax early this year — a 72-unit permanent supportive housing community at 7900 E. Colfax that will serve individuals with acquired brain injury and related disability. Brothers also offers affordable housing options to neighbors with other disabilities, low-income older adults, and income qualified families at Paris Family Apartments in Aurora.
For years, Brothers has administered Community Development Block grant funding on behalf of Arapahoe County to provide housing and housing-services — like home modifications and repairs, and housing counseling.
Arapahoe County Commissioners allocated $3 million of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funding to the upcoming permanent-supportive housing project. A location for the site will be announced in the future.
“We look forward to expanding our work with Arapahoe County to serve those who have gone through the justice system and face uncertainty along with health challenges,” said Martinez.