forum

The Forum affordable housing apartment complex in Denver's Civic Center neighborhood.

The Denver City Council approved spending $10 million Monday to fund an affordable housing complex targeted toward homeless and formerly homeless residents.

The funding from Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds will be used to renovate a 10-story, 100-unit apartment complex located at 250 W. 14th Ave., next to Civic Center Park and the Denver City and County Building.

All of the 100 units of the complex, called The Forum, will be reserved for tenants who are or have previously been homeless. Residents must also earn 60% or less of the area median income — up to $44,016 for one person as of 2021.

This comes as there were approximately 5,530 homeless people living in shelters in the Denver metro area in 2021, according to an annual count. Another 1,185 people live in illegal encampments throughout the city, according to estimates from Denver’s Department of Housing Stability.

The tenants of The Forum will pay no more than 30% of their adjusted income towards rent, with the rest of the costs to be subsidized through project-based vouchers, according to the council proposal. 

The Forum will also provide tenants with on- and off-site supportive services provided by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, including case management, mental and behavioral health services, job training and financial management.

The resolution passed unanimously without comment Monday.

This comes after the council previously voted to allocate another $10 million in Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds to fund the acquisition of The Forum in March.

Planned renovations include replacing the roof, common area ceiling and flooring, in addition to upgrading heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, elevators, security systems, the building's exterior and in-unit cabinets and countertops.

The city has dedicated $10 million of its Private Activity Bond capacity to fund the renovation project.

PABs are tax-exempt bonds issued by or on behalf of the City and County of Denver, often to attract private investments for projects that will have a public benefit, like affordable housing. The city's current PAB capacity is just over $40 million.

In recent years, Denver has issued PABs for the Park Hill Village West development – providing 156 affordable housing units – and the Welton Park Apartments – providing 233 affordable housing units.

On Monday, the council also unanimously amended the commercial contract to buy and sell real estate with Forum Building Housing LP, as successor-in-interest to Forum Housing Corporation.