By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4)– A groundbreaking ceremony in Denver’s Curtis Park neighborhood Wednesday was organized to celebrate a new affordable housing project.
At the corner of 24th and Stout Streets is the future site of Stout24, a 13-unit row home development designed for income-qualified buyers beginning in early 2018.
“One of our core values in developing affordable housing is creating mixed-income opportunities, blending projects for residents along the affordability spectrum,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. “Stout24 embodies this value and promotes neighborhood diversity, providing a welcome alternative to potential gentrification or displacement. These are critically needed for-sale units that will help contribute to longer-term stability for families.”
All 13 units are three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes about 1,400 square feet in size. Seven of the units are reserved for households earning less than $60,400 for a family of three (80 percent Area Median Income), with the remaining six units for households earning less than $86,520 for a family of three (120 percent Area Median Income), the city’s Office of Economic Development explained.
Presales began a few months ago and Lauren Rubino is one of the income-qualified buyers.
“It just seemed like a really amazing opportunity,” Rubino said. “I’ve been renting for a really long time and it just kind of feels like I’m throwing my money away. I wouldn’t have been able to afford buying anything if it weren’t for this project.”
Stout24 is the latest housing project under Hancock’s 3×5 Challenge which aims to create 3,000 affordable housing units in Denver in five years. Since the challenge began in 2013, more than 2,800 units have been built in the city and another 876 are under construction right now.
“This provides a link and a pathway to the American dream,” Hancock said. “Theoretically we should be done with that commitment by next July, but with this project and more we’ll be completed by the end of this summer. One year early!”
City officials estimate 1,000 people move to Denver every month and they’re trying to keep up with that pace. On top of that, home prices and rental costs are skyrocketing, so projects like Stout24 are really helping people like Rubino.
“I just wanted the opportunity to actually own something,” Rubino told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “For people to be able to have this opportunity, it is really amazing.”
All of the Stout24 units have already been sold.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 This Morning over the weekend and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.