The city of Denver will receive $10 million in Public Housing Capital Funds for its redevelopment of the South Lincoln Park Homes public-housing project, a grant announced in Denver last week by Shaun Donovan, secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Donovan’s visit, which was part of a White House Urban Listening tour, included White House Office of Urban Affairs Director Adolfo Carrion, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Administrator Lisa Jackson. They were joined on a tour of Denver’s Lincoln Park neighborhood by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D), Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (D), Sen. Michael Bennet (D), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D) and City Councilwoman Judy Montero (D).
“The grants being awarded today are a perfect example of using the Recovery Act to rebuild the economy stronger and wiser by investing in new and emerging sustainable industries,” said Donovan. “This Recovery Act funding will not only reduce energy costs for public housing authorities and mitigate negative environmental impacts but will also create much-needed green jobs right here in Denver and across the country.”
The Denver Housing Authority’s $10 million is part of $300 million in Recovery Act competitive grants announced by Donovan that will allow 36 public housing authorities across the United States to utilize green materials and technology to create public housing that conserves energy and encourages more healthy lifestyles.
This new grant follows on an announcement earlier this month that the DHA would receive another $10 million for its Westwood Homes development under the same Public Housing Capital Funds program administered by HUD and funded through the ARRA.
The South Lincoln Park Homes are a public housing development that the housing authority is currently redeveloping into a mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented community. It currently contains 270 public-housing units on 15.1 acres just south of the Auraria Campus and only a half-mile from downtown. DHA, with Seattle architects/planners Mithun Inc. and Perry Rose, intends to redevelop the site into a new 800- to 900-unit community, consisting of a mix of housing products for a wide range of income levels.
“DHA’s goal for the South Lincoln redevelopment is to create an energized, pedestrian-focused community where residents experience environmental sustainability, cultural diversity, proximity to downtown and a wide spectrum of housing options,” said Ismael Guerrero, DHA executive director. “The redevelopment will integrate planning, design and operations to promote economic, environmental and social vitality.”
The Public Housing Capital Funds awarded last week are provided through ARRA and are specifically designated for the creation of energy-efficient communities through substantial rehabilitation or new construction of public housing developments.
In February, just eight days after President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law, HUD allocated nearly $3 billion in Recovery Act funding to more than 3,100 public housing authorities across the U.S. Distributed by formula, that funding is already being put to work to improve public housing and create safer, more livable environments for lower income residents.
Activities include, but are not limited to, development of connections to neighborhoods and green space; site improvements that provide surface water management techniques that capture, retain, infiltrate and/or harvest rainfall; water conservation through use of water-conserving appliances, fixtures and efficient irrigation; energy efficiency that meets Energy Star standards for new construction; and use of renewable-energy resources.
The South Lincoln Homes redevelopment plan proposes a promenade, a new central plaza that will provide a clear, safe linkage to the 10th and Osage Light Rail Station. Sustainable components of the redevelopment plan will feature LEED certification for Neighborhood Development, New Construction and other Enterprise Green Communities criteria; Healthy Development Communities and community-wide recycling programs. The plan incorporates street design, traffic calming and safety for a pedestrian-focused community.
Work will continue on the redevelopment as DHA applies for more federal funding, including a HUD Hope VI grant application, due in November.