MHC Updates

October 5, 2016

Affordable Housing & Community Facilities

Know an Organization or Business in Need of Space?
According to the 2015 Nonprofit Space Survey Final Report, published in June, many nonprofit and for-profit community-benefiting organizations and small businesses in the Denver metro area successfully negotiated lease rates during the recession that will soon end. Surveyed nonprofit respondents reported currently paying on average $11.57 per square foot, while market rates in Metro Denver were $21.45 per square foot for Class B space as of the close of Q2 2016. MHC is launching a Tenant Pipeline with our partner, Denver Shared Spaces, to strategically connect community-oriented businesses, social enterprises and nonprofits with affordable commercial space, thinking ahead to future needs and availability. This is the first program of its kind to systematically support the space needs of organizations and small businesses that are so important to our community. Do you know of an organization who could benefit from participating in this program? Please contact Megan Yonke at myonke@denversharedspaces.org.

Dedicated Revenue Fund for Affordable Housing Established
On September 19, MHC and many of our partners celebrated a historic moment in Denver history! After more than 18 months of discussions, debates, analysis, and stakeholder gatherings, the Denver City Council voted 9-4 in favor of passing Council Bill 16-0625 – a bill that creates a dedicated revenue fund to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing in Denver. The Fund, capitalized with a combination of property taxes and impact fees on new real estate development, will generate approximately $150 million over the next ten years and is expected to create and preserve at least 6,000 affordable homes for low income residents of Denver.


Business, Local Workforce, and Middle Skilled Jobs

Learning Cohort for Anchor Institutions
The work of MHC and The Denver Foundation around engaging major institutions in creating community benefit continues to grow. In 2017, we will convene a year-long group for local anchor institutions committed to engaging the communities in which they hold deep roots. These anchors – universities, hospitals, governments and other institutions with long-rooted investments – recognize the wealth of potential they hold and are eager to learn from each other about how to connect with their communities. The learning cohort will focus not only why anchor are vital institutions but how they can engage in anchor institution work. We’ll explore how to effectively support local businesses through contracting, training opportunities that support local hire programs, and opportunities to maximize local investment through community development. Anchors will walk away with an understanding of what it takes to build a solid anchor mission framework.


First & Last Mile Connections

Invest Health Convening
Five-person teams from 50 mid-sized American cities gathered in Denver September 28-30 at the Invest Health Second National Convening. Invest Health grants are awarded by the Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help municipalities and their partners design and implement projects that enhance health and equity through infrastructure investments. As a member of the Westminster team (which includes the City of Westminster, Adams County, Tri-County Health Department and Regis University), MHC worked closely with the funders’ staff in the months prior to the convening to design the program. MHC partners Felicia Griffin (FRESC), Neha Mahajan (9 To 5) and Lizeth Chacon (Colorado People’s Alliance) were featured on a panel to discuss effective strategies for community engagement and participation. Executive Director Dace West provided a practical perspective to presentations about developing collaborative frameworks and financing strategies that highlighted the work of the organization in the Denver region. DRCOG staff offered demonstrations of the on-line Regional Equity Atlas and Development Project Pipeline (under development as part of the Capital Absorption Project) created in collaboration with MHC.