PROVIDENCE AT THE HEIGHTS
Development Name: Providence at The Heights
What: Permanent supportive housing for
residents exiting homelessness. Combines
housing and servicesfor individuals and
families who need support to live stably and
independently in their communities.
It is nationally recognized as a proven solution to
Building Stats: 3-story, 43,568 SF building; 50 total
(40 one-bedroom, 10 two-bedroom)
furnished apartments with on-site staff and amenities
Developer: Second Chance Center, Inc., a Colorado leader in community re-entry programs. SCC serves returning citizens with an integrated and innovative program of mentoring, counseling, education, job training, and community engagement.
Development Consultant: BlueLine Development, Inc., Over 40 years of combined experience in affordable housing development. Past developments have utilized LIHTC, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Affordable Housing Program, Project Based Vouchers, NAHASDA and various other grants.
Architect: Shopworks Architecture
General Contractor: Calcon Constructors
Target Population: Individuals and families exiting homelessness will be provided safe, affordable housing and support services to address the underlying causes of their homelessness.
Financing: Construction costs are anticipated to be financed using a mix of funding including Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), Colorado Division of Housing, and private capital funding. Monthly rental costs are anticipated to be subsidized through Colorado Division of Housing project-based vouchers.
Construction: Construction anticipated to begin fall 2018 and last about 12-14 months
Proven, evidence-based solution: Permanent supportive housing has shown to effectively reintegrate individuals and families experiencing homelessness due to mental health disabilities or chronic health challenges into the community by addressing their basic needs for housing and providing ongoing support.
Housing First in Permanent Supportive Housing: Housing First is an approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements. Supportive services are offered to maximize housing stability and prevent return to homelessness.
Definition of chronically homeless: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines the chronically homeless as an individual or family with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.
Professionally managed housing and services: Permanent supportive housing looks and functions much like any other type of housing. People living in supportive housing have a private and secure place to make their home, just like other members of the community, with the same rights and responsibilities. The difference is that they can access, at their option, services designed to address their individual needs and preferences. These services may include the help of a case manager or counselor, help in building independent living and tenancy skills, assistance with integrating into the community, and connections to community-based health care, treatment, and employment services.
Housing as Health Care: Permanent supportive housing allows people with one or more serious disabling conditions to stabilize their housing and address underlying conditions that often have gone untreated for many years. The combination of housing and supportive services creates a synergy that allows residents to take steps toward recovery and independence.
The “permanent” in “permanent supportive housing” means the length of stay is up to the individual or family. There is no time limitation, and residents may live in their homes as long as they meet the basic obligations of tenancy. While participation in services is encouraged, it is not a condition of living in the housing.
The “affordable” in “affordable housing” is ensured through a rent subsidy known as project- based vouchers provided by the Colorado Division of Housing. These vouchers ensure that regardless of the resident’s income, building operating and maintenance expenses will always be covered.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Who is Second Chance Center?
A. Second Chance Center, Inc. (SCC), a Colorado based 501c3, began its sixth year in February 2018. Our growth and development reflect the vision of Executive Director Hassan A. Latif, and we have worked hard to become the premier community re-entry program in Colorado, striving to be viewed as a model for the nation. Approximately 800 men and women are released monthly from Colorado State correctional facilities, having been housed at an average cost to taxpayers of $35,895 per person per year. Of those men and women, 150 are released into homelessness. Generally, our clients lack significant family support or diminished personal resources to provide for basic needs. Many have struggled with troubled or abusive childhoods, poor education, and/or mental health and substance use disorder issues. The majority are economically disadvantaged upon release; they are yearning for self-sufficiency and self-respect; while endeavoring to live as productive citizens.
SCC serves an increasing number of these returning citizens with an integrated and innovative program of mentoring, counseling, education, job training, and community engagement. Services include practical assistance in accessing jobs, emergency housing, and transportation. Over the last year, client visits have increased (on average) to approximately 1200 per month. Half of those served have been classified by the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) as medium- to high-risk of returning to prison. In Colorado, nearly 50% of those released, return to custody within a three-year period. Incidentally, the national recidivism rate is 39%. In stark contrast to national and local trends, the recidivism rate for SCC clients is less than 10%.
Q. What are you building?
A. We are building 49 permanent supportive apartment homes that will provide safe, affordable housing for individuals, couples and families challenged by disabilities and experiencing homelessness. The building will also include one visitor apartment and space to provide supportive services to residents.
Q. What is permanent supportive housing?
A. Permanent supportive housing looks and functions much like any other type of housing. People living in supportive housing have a private and secure place to make their home, just like other members of the community, with the same rights and responsibilities. The difference is that they can access, at their option, services designed to address their individual needs and preferences. These services may include the help of a care manager or counselor, help in building independent living skills, assistance with integrating into the community, and connections to community based health care, treatment, and employment services.
Q. Why are you using the permanent supportive housing model?
A. Permanent supportive housing is nationally recognized as a proven solution to end homelessness and reduce social services cost. A study by the Denver Housing First Collaborative shows that permanent supportive housing in Denver reduced the emergency-related costs (emergency room care, detox services, incarceration, etc.) borne by the community by 73 percent annually, or approximately $30,000 per homeless person served.
Q. In some programs, participation in treatment is a condition of placement; why will the residents not be required to participate in treatment to be given housing?
A. Permanent supportive housing models that use a housing first approach, which doesn’t require treatment as a condition of residency, have proved to be highly effective for ending homelessness, particularly for people who have disabilities and high service needs. A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) study found that housing first permanent supportive housing models result in long-term housing stability, improved physical and behavioral health outcomes and reduced use of crisis services. By providing individuals experiencing homelessness with a safe, secure home environment through the permanent supportive housing model, we can help this group gain housing stability and meet their individual needs to get them into treatment. http://www.huduser.org/portal/publications/hsgfirst.pdf.
Q. Who will be housed in the apartments?
A. Eligible residents must earn at or below 30 percent of area median household income, have a disability and be homeless or precariously housed and in need of services to remain housed. All applicants will be referred through OneHome (Coordinated Entry System (CES)), who have been screened and assessed using the VI-SPDAT (Vulnerability-Index Service Prioritization and Decision Assistance Tool). They will be prioritized on the waiting list according to their score (highest to lowest) based on chronicity and medical vulnerability of people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. In addition to the VI-SPDAT score, a filter will be put on the CES priority list to give higher priority to people who a.) would benefit from behavioral health services; and/or b.) would benefit from services because of involvement in the criminal justice system. This development represents an opportunity to reunite families who may have been separated by homelessness. Supportive housing can stabilize families so that they become safe and healthy environments for both adults and kids, giving them a better future.
Q. How many bedrooms will each apartment have?
A. The apartment building will include forty, one-bedroom and ten two-bedroom apartment homes for rent. This will allow a variety of people who are experiencing homelessness to find a safe, comfortable space to live. The larger apartments will be designed to house couples or families.
Q. Will the building include space for Second Chance Center and Aurora Mental Health Center?
A. The building will include some common areas on the first floor that will be used by Second Chance Center and Aurora Mental Health Center employees to facilitate supportive services to the residents. These shared areas include space for classrooms and meetings as well as a large multipurpose space with catering kitchen features to hold resident community meetings. The surrounding outdoor area will also include gardens and green spaces.
Q. How will this housing be different than other low-income housing?
A. This apartment building will be designed to meet the needs of residents, including families and children, who have experienced trauma. Amenities and engagement spaces will be included that provide opportunities for residents to connect and feel safe, including child friendly areas, community room, gardens, wide hallways, cozy living spaces and places to exercise. Supportive services will also be available to residents to meet their individual needs and increase housing stability.
Q. Will the space have a clinic on site?
A. No. Medical, substance use or mental health treatment will not be provided on-site. A care manager will be available to connect residents to a health care provider, supported employment opportunities and other supportive services to help them live independently. Some of the supportive services may be offered on-site and some will be accessed in the community.
Q. What supportive services will be available on site?
A. Supportive services are intended to help residents live independently by addressing their individual needs. Supportive services such as care management, independent living skills, job skills training, peer support services and social activities may be provided on site. Services not provided on site include treatments for mental health, substance use or medical issues.
Q. Will this be a group home?
A. No. This will be an apartment building designed to provide affordable housing to people who are experiencing homelessness. Each apartment is a separate residence available to rent by an individual, couple or family.
Q. Is this a homeless shelter?
A. No. These apartments will use a permanent supportive housing model that combines housing and services for people who need support to live stably and independently in their community. It is a permanent solution to homelessness, rather than a stop-gap, emergency solution that only provides a place to sleep for the night. Residents may live in their apartment as long as they pay their rent and abide by their lease agreement. Permanent supportive housing has been shown to be an effective model to help the most vulnerable achieve housing stability, mental wellness and sobriety.
Q. How will the apartments work?
A. The building will be staffed 24/7. Residents will pay rent equivalent to 30 percent of their income, which includes income from employment, social security, disability and related benefit programs. Residents may live in their apartment as long as they pay their rent and abide by their lease agreement. Residents will be held accountable for the behavior of their guests and visitors.
Q. How will residents be selected?
A. Potential residents must willingly commit to this permanent supportive housing program and will be identified from a waiting list for housing. Eligible residents must earn at or below 30 percent of area median household income, have been involved with the criminal justice system, be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and/or have a disability. We will adhere to all fair housing laws and complete background checks on all residents to ensure eligibility. Registered sex offenders, any household member who has ever been convicted of drug related criminal activity for the production or manufacture of methamphetamine (in any location, not just federally assisted housing) will not be eligible for the housing.
Q. Who will be the typical resident?
A. There is no “typical” resident. Homelessness is an issue that impacts people of all ages, from all walks of life. We anticipate housing individuals, couples and families. Residents will need to fit the selection criteria of being disabled, homeless and income qualified to be eligible to reside in the apartments. Registered sex offenders, anyone convicted of producing or manufacturing methamphetamine will not be eligible for the housing.
Q. What qualifies as a disability?
A. A disability includes:
Mental illness (bipolar, depression, PTSD, TBI, etc.)
Chronic substance use disorders
Physical disabilities, including those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS
Q. How long will residents stay?
A. Each apartment has a minimum lease of one year. There is no time limit on a resident’s length of stay as long as they pay their rent and abide by the lease agreement.
Q. What is trauma-informed care?
A. Trauma-informed care is based on the understanding that people have experienced traumatic experiences and designing supports that help heal rather than re-traumatize. The approach emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety to help survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.
Q. What is trauma-informed design?
A. Trauma-informed design is based on the principles of trauma-informed care and extends the approach to buildings and environments. Surroundings are designed to provide a safe, open and inviting setting that minimizes the effects of trauma, avoids any sense of confinement and ensures people feel safe. Spaces are open and airy with as few walls as possible and clear sight lines throughout, making people feel secure and safe while appearing ‘barrier-free.’
Q. How is Second Chance Center funded?
A. Second Chance Center is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 community center. Funding and financial information for Second Chance Center can be found here: https://www.coloradogives.org/SecondChanceCenter/overview
Q. Is all of the financing in place to proceed with this development?
A. This development was awarded low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) funding through Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), funding and Housing Choice Vouchers from Colorado Division of Housing in September of 2017. Upon completion of Aurora permitting process, we anticipate beginning construction in the fall of 2018 and opening in the fall of 2019.
Q. How do you anticipate this development will impact property values? Have you looked at impacts to property values surrounding any similar developments?
A. Studies have shown that supportive housing residences have minimal effects on the neighborhoods in which they are located. Supportive housing is designed to blend in with the community and has not been linked to decreased property values or increased crime. A recent analysis by Trulia, showed that Denver showed a positive effect in terms of price per square foot after a low-income housing building was completed. https://www.trulia.com/blog/trends/low-income-housing/
Find a list of studies throughout the country that looked at how supportive housing developments have impacted communities at this link https://shnny.org/research- reports/research/neighborhood-impact/
Q. What is the timeline for opening the apartments?
A. We anticipate breaking ground for the apartments in fall of 2018. Construction should last approximately 12-14 months.
Q. How can I find out more about Providence at The Heights?
A. For more information about this important housing development or Second Chance Center, please visit our website at: www.sccColorado.org. Information will be updated periodically to reflect important development milestones and to share updates with our neighbors.
For any inquiries, questions or commendations, please call: 303-537-5838 ext.100, 103 or 206 or fill out the following form
15602 East Alameda Parkway
Aurora, CO 80017
Tel: 303-537-5838 ext.100, 103 or 206