Following the 2013 Northern Colorado floods, Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity and the City of Evans teamed up to replace some of the affordable housing that had been destroyed. Together with multi-family home builder Commonwealth Companies, they replaced 95 townhomes, cottages and single-family homes through the Mission Springs project.
The Mission Springs community development model has now blossomed into a bold move to advance affordable housing in Weld County. “Greeley-Weld Habitat has developed a full-circle partnership model that substantially increases affordable housing opportunities in the communities that we serve,” shared Cheri Witt-Brown, Greeley-Weld Habitat’s executive director. “We are bringing together a coalition of business, nonprofit, governmental and faith-based organizations to plan for and build Hope Springs, a 42-acre, 491-unit model development.” Hope Springs will address housing need for a number of Coloradoans, 86% of whom shared in a statewide survey that housing costs are a huge concern.
In Hope Springs, 491 families will build generational wealth through homeownership and move into a thriving environment. The community will include an on-site child care center, a mini soccer pitch, and a frisbee park and playgrounds, all walkable to shopping and schools.
The need for affordable housing in Colorado is great, with Weld County alone needing 2,500 more affordable units within the next few years. Cheri is undaunted. “We now have a partnership model that can be duplicated across the state and nation. Plus we want to show that affordable housing doesn’t mean ‘less-than,’” she recently said in a BizWest interview.
In partnership with its private sector and community partners, county-wide Greeley-Weld Habitat, which is currently celebrating its 35th year, will deliver 105 affordable units by 2023, and an additional 495 over the next five years. All 600 of these will be for families in desperate need of affordable and high-quality homes.
The impact will be felt by everyone. “One of the overarching goals is to demonstrate that affordable, workforce communities that allow the continuum of housing from rentals to homeownership will economically benefit the community as a whole,” Cheri added. “Through Hope Springs, Greeley-Weld Habitat and Richmark Companies, the project’s private sector partner, will invest over $100 million in land development and new construction, significantly impacting the local economy.”