An innovative Denver development that includes a homeless shelter, permanent supportive housing (PSH), and affordable apartments has been selected as one of six winning projects in the 2020 Urban Land Institute’s Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award.
Developed by nonprofits Rocky Mountain Communities and The Delores Project, Arroyo Village opened in July 2019. The first project of its kind in Colorado, it features a 60-bed shelter, 35 PSH apartments, and 95 affordable apartments under one roof.
For the PSH homes, the development embraces the use of trauma-informed design, which centers on the belief that spaces should be designed for healing, especially as it relates to mental health. The community is designed by Shopworks Architecture.
The other winners in the large-scale development (100 units or more) group are:
- Montgomery Mill in Windsor Locks, Connecticut: A historic, long-vacant mill building has been transformed into 160 units of mixed-income housing and is a catalyst to a broader revitalization effort in downtown Windsor Locks. Developed by Beacon Communities, the project required both grit and complex financing to rehabilitate the dilapidated building and restore it as listed on the National Register of Historic Places, while also designing it to withstand flooding as it is located in a floodplain;
- Red Cedar Apartments in Seattle: The development by the Seattle Housing Authority adds 119 affordable apartment homes to the redeveloped Yesler Terrace site. The building was designed to accommodate large families with three- and four-bedroom apartments. To boost Red Cedar as a center of neighborly connections and activities, the building includes a community engagement hub, large meeting spaces, and service-provider space near streetcar and bus lines, as well as the regional light rail; and
- The Lofts on Arthington in Chicago: The development involves the historic preservation and adaptive reuse of one of the original Sears, Roebuck & Co. buildings, located in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago. Mercy Housing Lakefront turned the blighted structure into 181 affordable homes for over 400 residents, half of whom are children.
The winner in the small-scale (under 100 units) group is:
- Beach Plum Village in Nantucket, Massachusetts: The development is a new residential community of 40 single-family cottages with affordable homes that are permanently restricted at moderate prices and fully integrated with high-end market-rate homes. Affordable housing is a challenge for the year-round residents and workforce critical to Nantucket’s economy. Developed by Rising Tide Development, Beach Plum Village not only adds much-needed affordable housing but has made a significant impact in reducing community opposition to affordable housing.
The jury also recognized Nesika Illahee in Portland, Oregon, with a Chairman’s Award, a recognition bestowed on an especially creative project designed to address a unique affordable housing challenge. Community Development Partners and Native American Youth and Family Services combined Indian Housing Block Grant funds and low-income housing tax credits that enable the project to focus on the acute needs of the Native community, an unacknowledged, underserved, and underrepresented population.
Applications for the 2021 awards will be accepted until April 2, 2021.