Denver Initiatives Around Mixed-Income TOD. Melinda Pollack June 21, 2011

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1 Denver Initiatives Around Mixed-Income TOD Melinda Pollack June 21, 2011

2 Agenda The Need for Mixed-Income TOD in Denver Making the Case to Local and Regional Leaders Tools and Policies to Make It Happen: The Denver TOD Fund RTD Joint Development & Affordable Housing Policy Collaboration Moving Forward: West Corridor TOD Working Group Denver Livability Partnership Mile High Transit Opportunity Collaborative 2

3 Why is it needed? - FasTracks Overview 2004 FasTracks approved by voters Six (6) new rail corridors 119 miles of tracks 70 new transit stations 3

4 Challenge of Creating and Preserving Affordability Denver region lacks strong affordable housing mandates Cities of Denver and Boulder the only communities with IZOs Weak IZO applies only to for-sale properties with 30+ units Recent rezoning/upzoning in Denver did not include affordability requirement Dual affordability challenge in transit corridors Preserving existing affordability in the face of redevelopment pressure Incorporating affordable housing into new development 4

5 New TOD Targets Higher-Income Households Nearly 51,055 new residential units have been either built or are proposed near transit stations. However, only 2,428 of these units are designated as affordable. 5

6 Why is it needed? - H + T in Denver region Housing Only Yellow areas are affordable to median income, assuming 30% of income for housing only, 45% of income for H + T combined 6 Source: Center for Neighborhood Technology Housing & Transportation

7 H+T for Families Earning < $25,000 70% Working Family Spending on Housing + Transportation 60% 50% % of household income 40% 30% 32% 30% 30% 31% 29% 27% 31% 28% 20% 10% 29% 29% 24% 26% 29% 32% 28% 32% 0% Atlanta Boston Cleveland Dallas Denver Los Angeles Portland Washington DC Housing Transportation 7 Source: Center for Housing Policy, A Heavy Load, 2006

8 Households in transit zones are lower income Household Income Distribution, Denver Transit Zones and Denver MSA, % 32.0% 30.0% 28.0% 26.0% 24.0% 22.0% 20.0% 18.0% 16.0% 14.0% 12.0% 10.0% 8.0% 6.0% 4.0% 2.0% 0.0% Denver Transit Zones DENVER MSA less than $15,000 to $25,000 to $35,000 to $45,000 to $60,000 to $100,000 $150,000 $10,000 $19,999 $29,999 $39,999 $49,999 $74,999 to to $124,999 $199,999 8

9 Projected TOD Demand, ,000 18,000 16,000 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 Single Person, Other N onfamily Households Married Couple Households Other Family Households 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 Less than $10,000 $10,000 to $14,999 $15,000 to $19,999 $20,000 to $24,999 $25,000 to $29,999 $30,000 to $34,999 $35,000 to $39,999 $40,000 to $44,999 $45,000 to $49,999 $50,000 to $59,999 $60,000 to $74,999 $75,000 to $99,999 $100,000 to $124,999 $125,000 to $149,999 $150,000 to $199,999 $200,000 or more Household Income 9 Source: Center for Transit-Oriented Development, The Case for Mixed-Income Transit-Oriented Development in the Denver Region, March 2007

10 Making the Case In 2007, Enterprise and CTOD released The Case for Mixed- Income Transit-Oriented Development in the Denver Region Key Findings: 10 There is a growing demand for housing near transit But a closing window of opportunity to develop it in a sustainable way with mixedincome housing. Barriers exist to creating such communities Offers an array of tools for overcoming barriers Tests out these tools at four planned transit station areas

11 Tools & Policies to Make Mixed-Income TOD Happen The Denver TOD Fund RTD Joint Development & Affordable Housing Policy 11

12 What is the Denver TOD Fund? Goal: Create and preserve at least 1,000 units of affordable housing Partners 12 City of Denver top loss investor Enterprise investor/fund manager Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) equity/borrower/interim property holder Other investors Colorado Housing and Finance Authority MacArthur Foundation Mile High Community Loan Fund Rose Community Foundation U.S. Bank Wells Fargo

13 What is the Denver TOD Fund? ULC - $1.5 M First Loss - $2.5 Million - Denver Second Loss - $ 1 Million - Enterprise Third Loss $4.5 Million CHFA and Foundations Senior Debt - $5.5 Million Enterprise and MHCLF 13

14 Why the Fund? Response to need but also good structure for cities with weaker markets and limited take-out financing In most urban areas including Denver, transportation is the second highest household expense after housing. Also like many cities, a majority of Denver s existing affordable housing stock has excellent proximity to current and planned transit. As living near transit becomes more desirable for households of all income levels, it s essential that affordable housing be preserved or redeveloped in a manner that ensures its long term affordability. According to a 2008 study the by the National Housing Trust and Reconnecting America, 7,200 or nearly 75% of the Denver metro area s federally assisted housing is located within a half mile of frequent transit service. 14

15 What is the Denver TOD Fund? Structure Line of credit to ULC ULC identifies property and draws on TOD Fund for purchase (after Enterprise underwrites proposed acquisition) ULC identifies affordable housing developer to purchase the site by the end of the hold period Three target property types Existing federally-assisted rental properties Existing unsubsidized, below-market rate rental properties Vacant or commercial properties to be converted to new affordable housing 15

16 Jody Apartments Located less than 300 feet from future light rail station ULC has 99 year land lease to nonprofit owner 52 of 62 apartments now permanently affordable, 12 at 30% AMI and below 62 units adjacent to Sheridan Station NEWSED, ULC, Enterprise, City, Colorado Division of Housing 16

17 Dahlia Apartments 2008 foreclosure Six buildings with thirty-six 2- bedroom apartment homes in northeast Denver Neighborhood Stabilization Funds (NSP) - $450,000 TOD Fund - $ 1 million Short term rehab Long term hold by local CDC 17

18 Yale Circle 1.2 acres of vacant land located next to the Yale light rail station Along existing southeast rail line Site identified by nonprofit developer who has decided not to proceed Preliminary plans include 70 units 9% LIHTC likely Total Development Costs = $11.5 million 18

19 Avondale Mile High Vista 19

20 Avondale Mile High Vista Two acre site between highest frequency bus corridor and rail line opening soon Plans affordable housing, library and commercial ULC acting as master developer, clean up and infrastructure Approx $2 M purchase price 20

21 21

22 What is the Denver TOD Fund? Key Features City engagement: top loss funding, zoning, entitlements Low-cost funds, most non-recourse Single borrower with strong balance sheet 22

23 The Fund s Future Explore expansion from $15 million Denver only to $25 million for the region Continue to focus on funded lines while advocating for entire transit system build out Continue to look for creative means to achieve preservation goals, subsidized and not Support ULC and development partners in building capacity 23

24 24 RTD Joint Development and Affordable Housing Policy Enterprise and FRESC report on Best Practices in Transit Agency Joint Development. Worked with RTD (transit agency) board and staff to adopt affordable housing policy within TOD strategic plan. Policy passed in fall State-level changes to make this policy feasible. Proactively addresses risk of gentrification rising housing costs associated with TOD. Sets process for RTD and municipalities to evaluate, set goals and develop affordable housing at 0-50% of Area Median Income.

25 Collaboration Moving Forward West Corridor TOD Working Group Denver Livability Partnership Mile High Transit Opportunity Collaborative 25

26 West Corridor TOD Working Group A partnership between: City & County of Denver City of Lakewood Denver Housing Authority Metro West Housing Solutions With assistance from the Center for Transit-Oriented Development Goals: 26 Develop a corridor-wide strategic plan for development Provide access to employment, education, housing and services through the new transit Balance the preservation of affordable housing with reinvestment Create economic development opportunities Identify catalytic redevelopment sites Serve as a regional model for livable communities

27 Station Area Plans for the Corridor 27

28 A TOD Implementation Typology 28

29 West Corridor TOD Working Group More information and full report available at: 29

30 Denver Livability Partnership City & County of Denver received a $2.9 million HUD Sustainable Communities & DOT TIGER II grant in fall One of only 14 communities to receive a joint award from HUD & DOT. The Denver Livability Partnership will expand permanent affordable housing, improve access to jobs and create better multi-modal connectivity along Denver s transit corridors. Activities include: 30 Creating a Housing Development Assistance Fund Next steps planning, design & studies on the West Corridor

31 Mile High Transit Opportunity Collaborative An emerging collaborative of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations working together to ensure the creation of the region s $6.7 billion FasTracks transit system benefits all communities in the region, including lowincome populations. Supported by the generous contributions of our members and by a contribution from the Ford Foundation s Metropolitan Opportunity initiative. 31

32 Mile High Transit Opportunity Collaborative Providing a vision and roadmap for how FasTracks and the development around FasTracks stations can help improve opportunities for all communities, including low-income communities in the region. Working across city and county lines to create a shared vision and build a movement for people across the eight-county Metro Denver area to improve the quality of life across the region Convening private, public, and nonprofit leaders and community groups that have a stake in the build-out of the FasTracks system to ensure all communities, including low-income communities, benefit from its construction. Investing in various projects around the region that are designed to ensure equitable outcomes in the FasTracks build-out process 32

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