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Denver opens affordable apartments in former church

The historic Cap Hill church also has shared bathrooms, laundry facilities, living and kitchen areas.
Credit: Denver Department of Housing Stability

DENVER — The City of Denver has opened 48 new supportive housing units for individuals transitioning from homelessness.

Located in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Saint Francis Warren Residences was built inside of a former church at 1630 East 14th Avenue. 

The historic property has been converted into 48 dorm-style units for people experiencing homelessness who will benefit from voluntary vocational services and case management, said Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST).

The new center's units are approximately 150 square feet, each housing one individual per unit. The residences include large shared spaces that provide a sense of community and maintain the architectural beauty and historic significance of the church, said HOST.

All residents have access to shared bathrooms, laundry facilities, living and kitchen areas, allowing residents to build community in the shared spaces of the building.

"We’re fortunate to have community partners like the Saint Francis Center working on many different levels to resolve homelessness," said HOST Executive Director Britta Fisher. "The Warren Residences will serve as a beacon of hope and stability for many in our community for decades to come."

HOST said tenants have already begun moving in and all units are income-restricted for individuals earning up to 30% of the area median income (up to $22,050 for a single-person household).

Credit: Denver Department of Housing Stability

"The Warren Residences model is so important because it shows the greater community what can be accomplished in support of affordable housing by adapting and reusing available community spaces," said Saint Francis Center Executive Director Tom Luehrs. "We can convert unused sacred spaces into active sacred spaces and transform people’s lives."

HOST provided a $2.1 million development loan to the Saint Francis Warren Residences to support construction costs, as well as $1,000,000 to fund supportive services over 15 years.

Credit: Denver Department of Housing Stability

According to HOST, acquisition of the site was made possible from the DHA Delivers for Denver Program, a partnership between the City and the Denver Housing Authority utilizing property tax mill levy revenue dedicated to Denver’s Affordable Housing Fund. Other public financing partners include the Colorado Housing & Finance Authority and the Colorado Division of Housing.

HOST said 1,353 affordable units for those experiencing homelessness have received city financing are currently under construction/preservation at 26 sites throughout Denver. An additional 1,175 income-restricted units are in the planning stage.

Credit: Denver Department of Housing Stability
Credit: Denver Department of Housing Stability

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