The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has moved a step closer to developing one of its most ambitious projects.
The organization recently finalized the financing and structuring of a deal that will bring a first-of-its-kind recuperative care facility for people experiencing homelessness and a 98-unit permanent supportive housing development to Denver.
The mixed-use property will help meet the health care needs for 400 homeless persons annually through medical respite and recuperative care while creating permanent homes for people experiencing homelessness.
“We are so proud to be able to bring the Stout Street Recuperative Care Facility and Renaissance Legacy Lofts project to fruition after two years of fundraising and design,” said John Parvensky, president and CEO of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. “Having a safe space to call home is such an essential part to the health and well-being of our community. Integrating a recuperative care facility for people experiencing homelessness will fill a huge gap in health and respite services to end homelessness in our city.”
Finalizing the complex financing positions the Coalition to begin construction on the project.
This nine-story development will be located in downtown Denver’s vibrant Arapahoe Square neighborhood adjacent to the Coalition’s Stout Street Health Center, which provides integrated health services to more than 15,000 homeless patients per year. This location will leverage the integrated health, mental health, addictions treatment, dental, pharmacy, and social services provided by the health center to serve highly vulnerable people with chronic health and mental health conditions who are experiencing homelessness, according to officials.
The Stout Street Recuperative Care Facility will provide 75 medical respite beds on the first three floors of the building targeted to people experiencing homelessness who have been hospitalized and cannot safely be discharged to the streets or shelters due to their acute or behavioral health conditions. For people experiencing homelessness, recovery “at home” is not an option, and this new facility will provide safe, dignified, and quality spaces for people to heal and stabilize while working with Coalition staff to identify long-term housing options.
“Studies across the country show that providing safe discharges from hospitals to a recuperative care facility with on-site nursing, medical, and mental health services will not only improve the health outcomes of those leaving the hospital but will also save thousands of dollars per person through reduced avoidable hospital readmissions or emergency room care,” Parvensky said.
Medical recuperative care will be provided for 30 to 45 days, depending on a patient’s needs. During that time, housing counselors will work with patients to arrange for post-respite supportive housing in the community, including at the new Renaissance Legacy Lofts.
The Renaissance Legacy Lofts will be targeted to people who are high utilizers of expensive emergency room and hospital care, with the goal of reducing avoidable health care costs through on-site supportive services and linkage to ongoing primary care at the Stout Street Health Center.
The development uses a unique planned community association structure, which separates out ownership and financing for each planned community unit. Each of the owners will be a subsidiary of the Coalition, and the Coalition’s development subsidiary Renaissance Housing Development Corp., will manage the construction.
Architectural services for the project, which is designed to look like market-rate housing in the Arapahoe Square neighborhood, was provided by Christopher Carvell Architects, and construction will be provided by Millender White.
This $46.5 million project uses a unique mix of financing sources for a development serving people experiencing homelessness. The project is receiving funds through participation in the Denver Housing Authority’s D3 bond program. The Recuperative Care Center will utilize New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) provided by the Corporation for Supportive Housing and Colorado Growth and Revitalization Fund. Northern Trust is the NMTC tax credit investor.
The city and county of Denver’s Department of Housing Stability provided $4.1 million of funding for both the recuperative care and Legacy Lofts project. The Colorado Division of Housing also provided $3.1 million of funding for both projects. The Denver Housing Authority and Colorado Division of Housing also will provide project-based Section 8 vouchers to the Legacy Lofts to assure affordability for all residents. Residents will pay 30% of their income for rent.
Private funders for this project include: The Anschutz Foundation, Darrell Brown and Suzanne McNitt, The Colorado Health Foundation, Fidelity Foundation, Wag and Annalee Schorr, Wells Fargo Foundation, Colorado ACCESS, and hundreds of individual capital donors.
The Renaissance Legacy Lofts housing also utilizes low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) provided by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority with equity being provided from Northern Trust through Enterprise Housing Credit Investments. FirstBank is providing both construction financing and a small permanent loan for the supportive housing.
“Assembling funding and financing at this scale for a ‘homeless project’ is a massive undertaking, requiring great partnerships,” said Parvensky. “Doing so with three different project owners, seven lenders, three investors, and two governmental partners made it the most complex financing structure we have ever been involved with.”
The Renaissance Legacy Lofts will be the 19th supportive housing completed by the Coalition over the past 30 years, providing housing to more than 2,000 households nightly.