Denver Transit Oriented Development Fund
In November 2007, the MacArthur Foundation
announced that it would provide $35 million for public sector initiatives to preserve and improve affordable rental housing. This funding was part of a national $150 million initiative, Window of Opportunity: Preserving Affordable Rental Housing. The Foundation received eighty Letters of Interest. From this pool, the Foundation invited 21 applicants to submit full proposals. As the partners awaited word from the MacArthur Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners
worked to line up other potential investors. In March 2009, the group received notification that the MacArthur Foundation had chosen to grant the project a $2.25 million and the Denver Transit Oriented Development(TOD) Fund was able to become a reality.
The purpose of the Denver TOD Fund is to support the creation and preservation of over 1,000 affordable housing units through strategic property acquisition in current and future transit corridors. The partners in this effort recognize that now is the opportune time to invest in real estate around proposed transit stations in order to capitalize on current values and preserve affordable pricing before the FasTracks light rail is fully.
The current fund will revolve to make up to $25 million in capital available to purchase and hold sites for up to five years in anticipation of the opening of new transit stations. The investment of $25 million will leverage over $100 million in local economic development activity, serving many of Denver’s lowest income neighborhoods with construction and permanent job creation. The Fund will also directly benefit low-income households that on average spend 60% of their gross income on housing and transportation expenses combined. By controlling these expenses and providing access to quality, environmentally-sustainable housing, the TOD Fund will make it possible for families to build wealth, and access employment and educational opportunities; it will provide employers with access to an expanded workforce.
For more information about the current accomplishments of the Denver Transit Oriented Development Fund or to get involved, please visit www.urbanlandc.org.
Green and Healthy Homes Initiatives
Denver’s Green and Healthy Homes Initiative evolved from the Neighborhood Energy Action Partnership (NEAP), a group of community and City partners who came together in 2008 to better coordinate weatherization and energy-efficiency work happening in 29 low and moderate income neighborhoods across Denver. DOSP facilitated initial planning and partnership development, also investing more than $1.1 million in the project. The success of this collaborative effort led the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning to select Denver as a Green and Healthy Homes Initiative site in 2011.
The Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), a public-private partnership that changes the way we invest in home rehabilitation and renovation and job development. With the dual goals of ensuring that all families live in homes that are healthy, safe and energy-efficient and creating pathways to high-quality green jobs for low-income Denver residents, the GHHI approach combines lead hazard control, reduction of allergens and molds, energy efficiency, and weatherization into a single intervention. This allows a more cost-effective, efficient, holistic mitigation, creating workers with broader, more competitive skill sets and resulting in safer homes, healthier children, and economically vibrant communities.
In the year the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative emerged under DOSP’s leadership, more than 25 partner agencies became involved in the Initiative, serving over 1,000 Denver residents. To learn more about the National Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, please visit www.greenandhealthyhomes.org
Denver Teen Pregnancy Prevention Partnership
The Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships worked with community partners, Denver Public Schools, and Denver Health to form the Denver Teen Pregnancy Partnership (DTPPP) in 2007. The partnership was designed to implement comprehensive, evidence-based programming to help prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in the Denver Public School district.
Based on the belief that young people have the right to make informed decisions about their sexual health, the DTPPP works collaboratively within a school community to provide comprehensive sex education to teens and their families. Goals of the DTPPP include reducing the incidence of teen births and sexually transmitted infections in Denver Public Schools where they have a presence, delaying the onset of sexually activity among non-sexually active student participants, increasing the use of contraception among sexually active student participants, and supporting reform of policy to help reduce the rates of unintended teen pregnancies in the Denver Public Schools.
Youth Mentoring Collaborative
In the summer of 2005, DOSP and Mile High United Way called together mentoring organizations providing services to youth in metro Denver. Through conversation, agencies identified mutual challenges and needs in the mentoring community and decided to formalize a partnership to promote increased communication, cooperation, and integration among agencies.
The YMC is dedicated to expanding quality mentoring opportunities for at-risk youth in the metro Denver area. Quality mentoring programs can make a significant difference in a young person’s like by improving their academic achievement, social skills, self-esteem, and ultimately their future. The YMC serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas, helping to avoid duplication, increase the number of youth served, establish best practice standards, and more effectively recruit volunteers.
For more information about the current accomplishments of the Youth Mentoring Collaborative or to get involved visit www.youthmentoringcollaborative.org