To address the real estate affordability crisis in the metro region, the Denver-based Urban Land Conservancy has announced the launch of a revolving loan facility.
A partnership between ULC, FirstBank, the Colorado Health Foundation, the Denver Foundation, and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, the Metro Denver Impact Facility (MDIF) will finance property acquisitions that support and preserve the affordability of housing, nonprofit facilities, schools, and community-serving spaces in the greater Denver area. To that end, FirstBank has committed $25 million to the program, while CHF has provided a $2 million program-related investment to support strategic acquisitions.
ULC has already used the facility to acquire the Harlan Nonprofit Center, a 29,000-square-foot building that houses the headquarters of Lutheran Family Services, which serves thirty thousand people in the region annually, as well as a law firm specializing in education and civil rights law. It has also received commitments from other lending partners and is working to secure another $20 million in loan capital this year. The facility is expected to be fully capitalized at $50 million by 2020.
"Rising real estate prices are causing real pain for many residents of the communities we work with," said Denver Foundation vice president of community impact Dace West. "The Urban Land Conservancy has a strong track record of creating affordable opportunities for both residents and community-serving institutions in some of the neighborhoods where real estate pressures are the highest. By providing investment capital to the Metro Denver Impact Facility, we hope to lessen some of the displacement pressures faced by people in our region who experience the greatest barriers to economic opportunity and housing stability."
"MDIF is an excellent tool to further ULC's mission of preserving, acquiring and developing real estate for long-term community benefit," said ULC president and CEO Aaron Miripol. "The Denver region is no longer an equitable place to live and work, and our goal with this new resource is to stimulate additional local low-cost investment to support more permanently affordable housing and nonprofit facility spaces, thereby creating opportunities for all residents to live, work, and play in the communities of their choice."