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Housing and Dreams Delayed

Streamlined ADU program aids low-income homeowners

Single-FamilyEcon Opp

West Denver Renaissance Collaborative

Denver, CO

Can low-income homeowners sufficiently supplement their income by building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to rent on their property, allowing them to stay in their homes as the home values in their neighborhoods rise and the overall economy of their community strengthens?

The project with West Denver Renaissance Collaborative (WDRC) introduced a streamlined ADU development program to offset the displacement of low-income homeowners by creating a new source of income through rental of the ADU. The project developed and launched a comprehensive program from resident outreach and streamlined permitting processes to subsidized construction costs and resident assistance for strategies to be a successful landlord.

With a contract award from Fannie Mae, the WDRC team was able to:

  • Hire a community coordinator and project manager.
  • Reduce ADU development costs by 45 – 65% compared to open market pricing.

By the end of the contract with Fannie Mae, WDRC had charted a new path with pre-approved ADU design prototypes that cut the city permit process by several months, streamlined financing, reduced development fees, and provided credit enhancements for income-qualified homeowners to make financing feasible. They fully qualified 15 West Denver residents for the ADU program. WDRC plans to complete the construction of over 100 ADUs in the next three years.

Both the Denver Housing Authority and the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) renewed their three-year funding of the WDRC program.

Watch the video to see how West Denver Renaissance Collaborative is helping homeowners remain in their communities.

West Denver Renaissance Collaborative is a collective impact organization integrating the efforts of community members, public agencies, nonprofits, and foundations working to create and implement a model for resilient urban regeneration in West Denver. The mission of the WDRC is to facilitate the revitalization of West Denver in an equitable fashion by improving the livelihood of existing residents and working to preserve and amplify the rich multicultural character.

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