Denver City Council Approves Homeownership Repair Program Contract with Denver Urban Renewal Authority

Single Family Rehabilitation program promotes
safe and livable homes for low- to moderate-income homeowners

DENVER, CO ­— Tuesday, February 26, 2019 — A long-standing Denver program, promoting housing stability among low- and moderate-income homeowners, has been extended through May 2020. Denver City Council last night approved a contract with the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) to continue administering the Single Family Rehabilitation program (SFR).

“When it comes to affordability, our goal is simply to help house people and to keep them housed,” said Britta Fisher, Chief Housing Officer of the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED). “The Single Family Rehabilitation program clearly underscores this goal, with assistance targeted to help make essential home repairs viable, which promotes housing stability among low and moderate income homeowners.”

The SFR program helps low- and moderate-income households to make essential repairs and upgrades to their home using zero to one-percent interest loans of up to $34,999. SFR is designed for major home rehabilitation such as roofing, plumbing, siding, gutters and window repair or replacement, as well as some kitchen and bathroom repairs like tile and cabinetry.

DURA has administered the SFR program for Denver for more than 40 years. This program contributes to the maintenance of Denver’s existing housing stock and the integrity of older neighborhoods, especially when affordable housing is difficult to come by in the booming Denver housing market.

“The SFR program is unique in that it adapts to the needs of each client while improving their quality of life and the health of our city,” said DURA Executive Director Tracy Huggins. “DURA looks forward to continuing this program, making a difference for homeowners across the city by providing help they may have thought was beyond reach.”

Last year, the SFR program helped improve living conditions for 41 households throughout 23 Denver neighborhoods. Three-quarters of borrowers were senior citizens or individuals with disabilities. The majority of households (29) were located in areas vulnerable to displacement as defined by OED’s 2016 Gentrification Study.

For Arthur and Vivian Beeman, the program is helping them to age comfortably in place in their Northeast Park Hill home where they have lived for nearly 30 years. The program provided new windows, a new furnace and air conditioning system, a remodeled bathroom, and sewer line replacement. Vivian credits the new windows as a blessing that has eliminated all traffic noise along their busy location on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. More importantly, the upgrades are having a positive health impact. “My husband has a serious breathing problem, so the A/C helps with not having to open the windows during summer. This was especially helpful during the smoky days of forest fire season.”

As part of DURA’s commitment to the homeowner, DURA oversees the work being performed by the contractor to make sure repairs are completed quickly, at a competitive price, with the highest quality work, and in the best interest of the homeowner. A lead-based paint risk assessment is also performed at no cost in all SFR projects.

The newly approved contract provides up to $850,000 in federal funds, which are expected to rehabilitate up to 20 homes if maximum assistance is provided. Funds are provided from the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, offered through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

To qualify for the SFR program, applicants must be a Denver resident, own and occupy the home as their principal residence, and have a household income of no more than 80 percent of the area median income (up to $50,350 for a single-person household, or up to $71,900 for a family of four). Additional details about qualifications and applying for the SFR program can be found at renewdenver.org.

The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is dedicated to advancing economic prosperity for the City of Denver, its businesses, neighborhoods and residents. Working with a wide variety of community partners, OED operates to create a local environment that stimulates balanced growth through job creation, business assistance, housing options, neighborhood redevelopment and the development of a skilled workforce.

The Denver Urban Renewal Authority makes Denver stronger by assisting with thoughtful redevelopment and investing in neighborhoods with affordable loans for home repairs that allow residents to stay in their own homes. DURA partners with communities and city agencies when redevelopment or revitalization needs to happen, leading a thoughtful process that brings together neighborhoods and the city as a whole. DURA also offers zero- and low-interest loans to homeowners for emergency repairs and other rehabilitation that will make their home safer and more comfortable, including making grants to renters and homeowners for accessibility upgrades to their home. For more information, visit renewdenver.org.