Quality of Life

Vibrant Community and Neighborhoods

Improve Access
to Affordable Housing

Due: December 2022

Principle: Improves access to quality housing that is affordable to a broad range of income levels and provides resources, housing, and neighborhood assistance services to Arvada residents, neighborhoods, property owners, and stakeholders.

Description

The strong economy in the State of Colorado plays a key role in rising housing costs. In December 2019, the median home value in Arvada was $440,589. Arvada home values have gone up 2.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.0% within the next year. 

The median list price per square foot in Arvada is $272, which is higher than the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro average of $267. The median price of homes currently listed in Arvada is $459,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $421,500. 

The median rent price in Arvada is $2,150, which is higher than the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro median of $2,100. A household would need to make $85,000 per year to manage a monthly rental rate of $2,100. 

The 2020 CDBG Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan was presented to City Council on 10/21/19 and included the following internal departments and external agencies for preparation and implementation:

US Department of Housing and Urban Development, City Council for the City of Arvada, Planning Commission for the City of Arvada, City of Arvada City Manager’s Office City of Arvada Community Development Team, Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Team, Arvada Housing Authority, Finance, Public Works, The Metropolitan Denver Homeless Initiative & The Colorado Department of Human Services, Metropolitan Denver Homeless Initiative (MDHI), Jefferson County Housing Authority and Housing Colorado among others.

Significance

Arvada's ability to attract and retain residents and businesses rely on the ability for individuals and families to afford housing. 

Analysis

All initial work of the consulting group has been completed and a draft report with recommendations will be released in mid February. This information will be shared with City Council and the community and will serve as a tool to assist the new housing manager.

Root Policy Research has submitted its initial draft of the Housing Strategy and it is was provided to the city advisory committee for review and comment.  Those comments were submitted by March 6 and staff is compiling those results for response to the consultant in preparation for a forthcoming presentation of the revised initial draft to City staff.

Work System
Performance Measures

 

Regional Homeless Strategy

Description

Despite a strong economy, homelessness in the U.S. inched up in 2017 and 2018, reversing a previous downward trend. Homelessness in the United States primarily affects urban communities, with about 82 percent of the homeless population in urban areas. Finally, homelessness isn’t distributed evenly. Los Angeles and New York, for example, accounted for 23 percent of all homeless people in the nation in 2018. 

Homelessness can be a result of wage stagnation, mental illness, lack of affordable housing, various forms of discrimination, lack of economic opportunities, addiction, and other such factors that have been explained in a Deloitte article The homelessness paradox: Why do advanced economies still have people who live on the streets? Tackling homelessness in its entirety requires taking into account the three stages of homelessness:

  • Stage 1: People at risk of homelessness.
  • Stage 2: People who are currently homeless.
  • Stage 3: People who have found a home but may need help to keep it.

Most efforts to fight homelessness are focused on stage 2, given its urgency, but the other stages also should be addressed. Traditionally, entities combating homelessness—governments, nonprofits, and community service organizations—have applied a variety of policy and economic approaches to address homelessness.

Significance

The overall number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Arvada continues to increase. This is true for our surrounding neighbors as well. The City of Arvada recognizes the magnitude and complexity of this issue and understands that partnering at a regional level will ensure the best use of resources. 

Analysis

The regional strategy to address homelessness has been implemented in Jefferson County effective January 1, 2020. This strategy is defined in the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Regional Homeless Navigation Efforts (MOU) between Jefferson County and the cities of Arvada, Golden, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and Westminster. All agencies except Golden and Westminster have signed the MOU. Sections 2.0 (Recitals), 4.0 (Obligations of the Parties) and 5.0 (Operating Plan) explain the regional effort. Please use the following link to access the MOU:

 https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1sKcv0ddJqPCOfGwQloDeXjFpKK4fqrUn 

As a first step to implement the MOU, the participating agencies must hire Homeless Navigators.  Jefferson County and Arvada have completed their hiring process.  Lakewood  has two positions, one has been filled as of March , 2020.  The selection process in Wheat Ridge has not been completed.  Golden is still figuring out its approach.  Westminster was once looking at a service contract with Colorado Coalition for the Homeless but is now changing direction and will be hiring a staff person.  

Two Week Homeless Training Academy will be held once all navigators have been hired.  A two day program was held in February for homeless navigators who have been hired and are on-board.  

The focus of the Homeless Navigator Supervisory Team is on developing systems that will be used by each agency.  The HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) will be used as the database all agencies will use.

Arvada's Homeless Navigator is Dawn Lesky. Dawn worked for the Jefferson County Department of Human Services where she was an Adult Protection Lead Case Worker for 18 years. Dawn also worked as a mental health co-responder with the Arvada Police Department which has required her to work closely within the City organization and with many individuals and families who are homeless.

Dawn has a Master’s Degree from Regis University in Counseling Psychology and an undergraduate degree from University of Northern Colorado in Sociology.  Outside of Dawn’s experience and education, she also has been recognized with many professional awards and is highly regarded by the officers she has worked with within the Arvada Police Department.


Affordable Housing Assessment

Description

This new Strategic Result milestone is in the development stage.  Root Policy Research has completed the initial draft of the Housing Strategy and that was provided to the city advisory committee for review by March 6 and the comments are being compiled for return to the consultant prior to a presentation of the draft report to City staff.

Significance

TBD

Analysis

The regional strategy to address homelessness has been implemented in Jefferson County effective January 1, 2020. This strategy is defined in the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Regional Homeless Navigation Efforts (MOU) between Jefferson County and the cities of Arvada, Golden, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and Westminster. All agencies except Golden and Westminster have signed the MOU. Sections 2.0 (Recitals), 4.0 (Obligations of the Parties) and 5.0 (Operating Plan) explain the regional effort. Please use the following link to access the MOU:

 https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1sKcv0ddJqPCOfGwQloDeXjFpKK4fqrUn 

As a first step to implement the MOU, the participating agencies must hire Homeless Navigators.  Jefferson County and Arvada have completed their hiring process.  Lakewood  has two positions, one has been filled as of March , 2020.  The selection process in Wheat Ridge has not been completed.  Golden is still figuring out its approach.  Westminster was once looking at a service contract with Colorado Coalition for the Homeless but is now changing direction and will be hiring a staff person.  

Two Week Homeless Training Academy will be held once all navigators have been hired.  A two day program was held in February for homeless navigators who have been hired and are on-board.  

The focus of the Homeless Navigator Supervisory Team is on developing systems that will be used by each agency.  The HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) will be used as the database all agencies will use.

Arvada's Homeless Navigator is Dawn Lesky. Dawn worked for the Jefferson County Department of Human Services where she was an Adult Protection Lead Case Worker for 18 years. Dawn also worked as a mental health co-responder with the Arvada Police Department which has required her to work closely within the City organization and with many individuals and families who are homeless.

Dawn has a Master’s Degree from Regis University in Counseling Psychology and an undergraduate degree from University of Northern Colorado in Sociology.  Outside of Dawn’s experience and education, she also has been recognized with many professional awards and is highly regarded by the officers she has worked with within the Arvada Police Department.