Area residents participated in virtual meetings this week regarding a proposed 54-unit supportive housing development planned for a vacant plot northeast of the Loveland Police and Courts Building.
Archdiocesan Housing, a ministry of Catholic Charities of Denver, arranged the meetings and will manage the project, which vice president of development Justin Raddatz hopes will be ready to welcome its first tenants by April 2023.
The housing complex on Hayes Avenue would serve individuals transitioning out of homelessness not only by being affordable — tenants would pay at least $25 or 30% of their income each month — but also by offering on-site case management and other services designed to promote stability.
Archdiocesan Housing approached the Loveland City Council last month to share details of its proposal, which was warmly received by the majority of council members. The city’s Affordable Housing Commission also voted unanimously to recommend the project to the council in July.
Between Monday and Wednesday, the organization held three open houses to explain the proposal and field questions from residents in the surrounding area, which was divided into three “zones.”
Raddatz said he was encouraged by the meetings, where residents shared concerns and voiced support for the development.
“For neighborhood meetings on a property like this, they’ve been fantastic,” he said. “Very respectful and civil, we’ve had great conversations, and folks have come in with fantastic questions.”
The virtual meetings were organized by Archdiocesan Housing separate from the city’s regular notification process, which will only include property owners within 300 feet of the parcel.
Currently, the city-owned property is vacant, with a small part of it used for dog training by the Loveland Police Department. Archdiocesan Housing is asking that the city donate the land for the project as well as provide fee waivers and grant funding.
Project partners would include BlueLine Development and the Loveland Housing Authority.
On Wednesday, potential neighbors mostly asked questions related to safety and traffic, which had also come up in the previous evenings’ meetings.
One commenter, using the screen name “kim and jed trotter,” asked about the impact that the complex would have on traffic and parking.
Christian Pritchett of BlueLine said that, based on a study of supportive housing developments across the Front Range, less than 7% of residents would own vehicles.
“We find that, because we are serving extremely low income individuals … they typically don’t own vehicles,” he said.
He also mentioned that the proposal would be the subject of a city traffic study, which would take into account traffic from the nearby Police and Courts Building, before it could move forward.
Another commenter with the screen name “Jennifer” asked what may disqualify a resident from living in the development, to which Raddatz mentioned prior convictions for violent felonies, sexual crimes, arson and any methamphetamine-related offenses.
While he said he expected tenants would include individuals dealing with drug and alcohol addictions, he also noted that residents would not be prohibited from having alcohol in their apartments.
“This is not a sobriety institution,” Raddatz said. “These are residents who are signing a lease, who are paying money toward rent. This is their home.”
Pritchett also spoke about the security measures that would be in place, such as having a single point of entry and around-the-clock management, and said crime tends to decrease in vacant lots where supportive housing developments are built.
Some commenters said they would support the development, while others said they did not want it near their homes.
“It looks like a great model for housing in Loveland,” another commenter, “John Coleman,” wrote. “I look forward to having them in the neighborhood.”
“I agree John,” kim and jed trotter replied. “I just do not want it in my backyard.”
If the project is approved for city support by the council and Affordable Housing Commission, it could break ground in April 2022.
A second phase of the project may include additional affordable or supportive housing.