DENVER (CBS4) – The waiting list for affordable housing in a Denver neighborhood just got a little shorter. The city on Wednesday celebrated its latest effort to increase housing stability in Globeville. The Stella offers 132 affordable apartments, plus life-changing support in North Denver.
The Stella is located on the campus of Laradon, a non-profit organization that empowers children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) through programs and services. In 2019, The Elisabetta opened on the Laradon campus. With the addition of The Stella, there are now 223 affordable apartments between the two complexes.
Some units of The Stella are dedicated to people coming out of homelessness.
Doug McNeill, CEO of Laradon, knows that finding housing can be difficult for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. He says some are at risk of becoming homeless themselves.
“If you have IDD and are not homeless, you may be living with an aging caregiver. You are in danger. We don’t want our IDD population to be homeless,” McNeill said.
Laradon will help people with IDD, who qualify under the Denver Housing Authority, find housing.
McNeill says there is land nearby, owned by the Denver Housing Authority, where Laradon plans to build similar units.
Funding for The Stella comes from partners such as the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the City and County of Denver Economic Development Office.
The City of Denver continues to strive to meet the growing need for more affordable housing.
“In our five-year plan for affordable housing, we need to see 7,000 homes built here in Denver over the next five years,” said Britta Fisher, executive director of the Denver Department of Housing Stability.
“Here we have 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units, family units, that people wanted to see in this community,” Fisher said.
In addition to affordable apartments, The Stella is home to the Laradon Career Centre.
It consists of training spaces and computer stations for customers. Laradon provides employment services to over 100 people with disabilities. With the new space, they hope to expand their reach.
“We’re willing to partner with others so we can use it as a training ground for non-disabled people to get gainful employment,” McNeill said.