DENVER – Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 – State, local, and tribal officials today joined  investment and development partners to celebrate the groundbreaking of the South Towaoc Supportive Housing project.

Combining affordable housing with access to supportive services, the 11-unit supportive housing project located on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation at 4 Rodeo Drive in Towaoc will serve Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Members and other Ute Mountain Ute residents who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness and earning at or less than 30 percent of area median income.

“We all need a safe place to call home,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “This historic project represents a significant milestone in the state’s ongoing commitment to provide more humane and cost-effective interventions for vulnerable populations. This allows us to better reduce the utilization of emergency services while improving educational, employment, and health outcomes.”

The result of the first partnership between the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the State of Colorado to develop supportive housing, the modular structure is funded through a variety of sources including a $871,014 grant and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development project-based vouchers provided to the Ute Mountain Housing Authority (UMHA) by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Division of Housing.

“This project respects tribal sovereignty while creating an affordable community where residents can access behavioral health and counseling services in order to lead healthy and productive lives,” said Irv Halter, executive director of DOLA.

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority also played a crucial role in financing the project, providing a $250,000 Housing Opportunity Fund investment.

“Everyone in Colorado deserves housing stability and there is great need in our tribal communities. CHFA is pleased to be a part of this unique opportunity and historic achievement,” said Cris White, CHFA executive director and CEO.

In addition to the positive impact on vulnerable residents, the South Towaoc Supportive Housing project will help address the shortage of housing on the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation that currently has more than 130 households on the UMHA waiting list.

“We have come together with the state to address a critical issue facing our community. Working with a broad group of partners and supporters in this endeavor we have the opportunity to transform the lives of individuals and families in crisis and put them on the road to stability,” said JoAnn Lemmon, Director of the Ute Mountain Housing Authority.

Enterprise Community Partners provided grant funds to UMHA for technical assistance used to contract with LeBeau Development LLC, a Denver-based consultant specializing in Permanent Supportive Housing.

Supportive services and case management based on Housing First and Harm Reduction principles will be provided by the Ute Mountain Ute Department of Social Services, the Indian Health Service, the UMHA, and the Ute Mountain Ute Counseling & Treatment Department for substance abuse services.

The building will include a laundry facility, parking lot, basic furnishings, and an office space for on-site service provision.