COLORADO SPRINGS – A new 50-unit complex is being planned to house homeless people and provide counseling services and substance treatment as more people are affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I continue to think that housing is truly the answer to ending homelessness, so this is great news for our community,” said Andy Phelps, Homelessness Prevention and Response Coordinator for the city of Colorado Springs.
Local organization Homeward Pikes Peak is expecting to build The Commons where Castle West Apartments once stood before a fire at the complex killed two people 13 years ago, the Gazette reported.
Construction is expected to start soon, with the campus opening in early 2022.
The organization serves about 250 people a year across five other housing programs and an outpatient clinic.
The organization applied for a low-income housing tax credit from the Colorado Housing Finance Authority last year and was rejected. It reapplied in February and the application was approved last week to help jumpstart the $16 million project.
Selling tax credits to investors will create $9 million that organizers will use as equity to borrow money, Roalstad said. Additional funding will be applied to construction costs, including money from the city and the state.
The shelter will cater to homeless veterans, families and individuals chronically living on the street, executive director Beth Roalstad said, adding that those who have active addictions and untreated mental illnesses are also welcomed.
“It’s important to note that we’ll accept people no matter what condition they enter,” she said.
Residents are expected to pay up to 30% of their income from a job, Social Security benefits, disability benefits or other sources and must abide by lease conditions, Roalstad said, adding that they are hoping to work with residents one-on-one for other potential conflicts in their lives.
“They will need to be safe and be able to live in an apartment setting,” she said. “Without adequate housing, we’re going to have continued homelessness.”