Denver’s newly created Department of Housing Stability intends to extend the funding for transit-oriented development, a request that was advanced by a City Council committee on Wednesday.
The original investment of $2.5 million into the Regional Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Fund is set to expire at the end of the year, and the proposed extension calls for another 10 years of Denver’s participation in the fund.
“When the city expanded this fund to make it a regional fund in 2014, Mayor Michael Hancock said that the TOD Fund has proven itself to be a successful tool in ensuring that low- and moderate-income families benefit from the buildout of our mass transit,” said Britta Fisher, Department of Housing Stability executive director. “That is even truer today and is why it makes sense to extend. The Denver Regional TOD fund is a critical tool in our toolbox for solving Denver’s and the region’s housing challenges.”
The fund was first launched in 2010 and was designed to help acquire land or property near mass transit that could be used for affordable housing.
The city and county of Denver initially invested $2.5 million of federal Community Development Block Grant dollars into the fund, which has been leveraged with additional capital from private and philanthropic sources. In 2014, the fund was expanded regionwide, grew to $24 million, and was opened to qualified affordable housing developers in the metro area.
Since it first began, the fund had provided 17 loans for more than $34 million for property acquisitions near public transit in the Denver metro area. Nearly 1,500 affordable homes near public transit have been created or preserved.
Most of the loans fund housing in Denver. New affordable housing has been developed along several corridors of the Regional Transportation District’s FasTracks Program, a multi-billion-dollar transit expansion plan, including at Yale Station, Evans Station, 38th & Blake Station, 40th and Colorado Station, Denver Union Station, and future housing at 48th and Race Street.
The proposed extension calls for an additional 10 years of Denver’s participation in the fund, including a five-year period of loan activity followed by a five-year period for loan maturation and repayment.