Denver Celebrates Groundbreaking of 49 Supportive Housing Units

Published on October 19, 2021

 $2.3 million investment from Denver’s voter-approved Homelessness Resolution Fund makes southwest Denver development viable
Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Councilwoman Jamie Torres and other officials today celebrated the groundbreaking for 49 new supportive housing units in the Barnum neighborhood. Developed by the nonprofit REDI Corporation, Rhonda’s Place will offer one-bedroom apartments with supportive wraparound services for individuals transitioning from homelessness, including individuals with disabilities and mental health needs.

“With the right supports in place, people can and are exiting homelessness and achieving stability in their lives,” Mayor Hancock said. “Housing with supports works, and Rhonda’s Place is one of a number of housing investments Denver’s making to help individuals from homelessness back into housing.”

The $17.3 million project is expected to open in December 2022 and will offer income-restricted units for individuals earning up to 30% of the area median income (up to $22,050 for a single-person household). The Mental Health Center of Denver will provide supportive services and connections to community-based supports tenants need to keep their housing and avoid a return to homelessness.

“One of our most important, guiding philosophies at the REDI Corporation, has always been that you have to combine housing and services together,” said REDI Executive Director David Murphy. “With services, housing is much more effective. And with housing, services are much more effective.”

Property features will include community space, shared laundry facilities, and meeting rooms for supportive services. A line of trees will be planted along Federal Blvd. An enclosed outdoor space will offer residents a patio, dog run and garden. The entire property will be smoke-free and aims to earn a bronze Energy Star rating. The half-acre site is located near 13 bus stops, providing easier access to jobs and services.

HOST is providing a $1.5 million performance loan to Rhonda’s Place to support construction costs, as well as $825,000 to fund supportive services over 15 years. Both financings are made possible from Denver’s Homelessness Resolution Fund that was approved by Denver voters last November. Other public financing partners include the Colorado Housing & Finance Authority, and the Colorado Division of Housing, including subsidy vouchers for all units to ensure residents pay no more than 30% of their total income on housing costs.

Rhonda’s Place will be the tenth project undertaken by the REDI Corp. The organization has successfully worked the past four decades to acquire and operate apartments that support people with disabilities and behavioral mental health needs, as well as for those exiting homelessness.

Rhonda’s Place is named for the late Rhonda Knop, the longtime, energetic activist and real estate agent whose legacy on the REDI board of directors goes back to the late 1970s. Her family, friends and fellow homelessness advocates attended the groundbreaking, in celebration of Knop’s legacy partnership with REDI.

“Nothing makes me happier than hearing from people about how my Mom affected their lives. Whether as a real estate mentor, as an inspiring leader in the community, or in her volunteer role advising REDI all these years,” says Damon Knop, her son, who has followed in his mother’s footsteps working in residential real estate. “Her legacy lives long within these people’s lives. Rhonda’s Place is so exciting for our family and friends because it means her legacy will continue to build and live long.”

Rhonda’s Place is the latest city-supported affordable housing development to begin construction in Denver. A total of 1,402 affordable units that have received city financing are currently under construction/preservation at 27 sites throughout Denver. An additional 1,175 income-restricted units are in the planning stage.