Posts tagged housing
The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) department hosted
a delegation from Ireland on Thursday, April 11. The group came to Boulder and Denver to examine issues of access for people with disabilities in education, housing and the workplace.
Ten leaders in several fields including education, human services, policy and architecture, arranged the tour to learn more about what OSMP has done to provide accessible trails that enable people in wheelchairs and those with other disabilities to enjoy and experience nature. OSMP has developed several trails, facilities and fishing areas designed to be used for people with disabilities.
The delegation was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Irish Institute at Boston College, whose mission is to support the peace and reconciliation process between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
For questions about trail access for people with disabilities on OSMP properties, please call 303-441-3440 or visit www.OSMP.org.
City of Boulder media affairs
Deadline approaching; corpsmember applications must be submitted by Friday, March 29
The Youth Corps offers one of the best first-job opportunities available in Boulder County. Teams have completed projects such as constructing nearly a mile of trail at Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat, replacing the residential fence at a Boulder County low-income housing development in Louisville and preserving the McDonald Cabin at Betasso Preserve Open Space. Parks and Open space is now accepting applications for Youth Corps members and team leaders.
Who: The Youth Corps will hire 180 teenagers to work 30 hours per week.
- Boulder County residents ages 14-17 have until Friday, March 29 to apply for summer jobs with the Boulder County Youth Corps. Boulder County is especially in need of female Corps members.
- Applicants can apply online at http://www.bouldercounty.org/youthcorps. Applications can also be picked up at counseling offices in Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley schools; city and town personnel offices; most local recreation and youth centers and libraries; and the Boulder County Human Resources Department, 2025 14th St. in Boulder.
What: Corps members will work on a variety of community service projects such as forest thinning, historic preservation, construction and repair of fencing, trail maintenance, removal of Russian olive trees and noxious weeds, landscaping and replacing light bulbs with compact fluorescents.
When: Youth Corps members are expected to work Monday through Thursday, from June 10 to July 31.
Where: Teams will work in unincorporated Boulder County as well as in cities and towns within Boulder County.
Compensation: This year, Corps members will earn a starting wage of $7.78/hour, with the possibility of earning a $100 bonus at the end of the program based on merit and strong attendance.
- Teens who have worked for the Corps in past years can earn up to $8.28/hour.
- Corps members are eligible for reimbursement for the purchase of work boots and gloves.
- RTD bus passes for the purpose of traveling to and from centralized work meeting places may be subsidized.
The Youth Corps is also hiring team leaders, who must be high school graduates at least 21 years old with two years of college coursework or more, among other qualifications. A list of full qualifications is available online. Team Leaders start at $13.50/hour. These positions remain open until filled.
For more information, visit http://www.bouldercounty.org/youthcorps or call the Youth Corps office at 303-678-6104.
University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano, Athletic Director Mike Bohn and new head football coach Mike MacIntyre today unveiled a $170 million, multi-year proposal to upgrade CU-Boulder’s football facilities before the Intercollegiate Athletics subcommittee of the CU Board of Regents at the board’s monthly meeting in Colorado Springs.
CU will rely on $50 million in private support to execute the project, and a significant effort to raise funds from donors will now begin to support it. In addition, other athletic revenue sources will be used to finance this major initiative.
“This plan represents a carefully conceived, strategic investment in our future in the Pac-12 Conference,” said Bohn. “It will position us to attract the best student-athletes in the nation. It will improve the performance of our student-athletes on the field and in the classroom, and it will enhance our fan experience.”
The first element will consist of a new academic center that will boost student-athletes’ already substantial progress in the classroom. The new facility will provide focus for student-athletes by moving study areas to a new complex beneath the east stands, away from the distractions of the Dal Ward Athletic Center. Additionally, as part of the project’s first element, the north side of Folsom Field’s east stands will be supported against the shifting ground beneath it, improving safety for fans and visitors.
The second element will significantly expand Dal Ward to consolidate football operations, bring coaches and student-athletes from a number of sports together, and provide more physical resources for all in one unified space.
The third element of the plan establishes a permanent indoor practice facility adjacent to outdoor practice fields north of Boulder Creek, creating a year-round practice complex, easing traffic congestion off of Arapahoe Avenue with new streets and transportation enhancements, and forming a new plaza-like entrance to campus from the north.
The plan also includes a study to redevelop family housing that now sits west of Folsom Street and south of Arapahoe. The university has for several years been re-envisioning the possibilities of a more modern family housing complex with greater appeal for residents and greater density to make more efficient use of space.
The final element of the football athletics redevelopment project includes redevelopment of the Folsom Field west-side stands.
Future enhancements not included in the initial cost estimate are planned at the Coors Events Center to further improve the student-athlete and fan experience there.
DiStefano heralded the plan, saying it “balances equally our commitment to the academic success of our student-athletes, the comfort and safety of our fans and the long-term success of our combined coaching staffs.”
“This affirms our institutional values, and positions us well as we move ahead in the finest conference in the country,” DiStefano added.
CU President Bruce Benson said the project marks a bold new era of partnership with donors, alumni, fans and stakeholders.
“Intercollegiate athletics is the front porch of the university,” said Benson. “This plan will help bring people from across Colorado and around the country together in support of CU, and it will challenge all of us as donors, alumni and fans to work together to make this vision a reality.”
MacIntyre said the support from every level of the university – from fans and donors to the athletic director, the chancellor and the president – was gratifying to him and to CU’s other coaches and players.
“This is a strong commitment to success by the president, the chancellor and the university as a whole,” said MacIntyre. “These facilities will represent to our current and future players the dual commitments to excellence, and to be successful year-in and year-out, at the University of Colorado. The entire university community wants to sustain excellence in everything we do, and at the same time, keep moving forward. This commitment represents both of these desires.”
Deadline to submit youth applications is Friday, March 29
Boulder County, Colo. – Boulder County residents ages 14-17 can now apply for summer jobs with the Boulder County Youth Corps. Boulder County is also hiring adults to be team leaders. Boulder County is especially in need of female Corps members and leaders.
The deadline to submit youth applications is Friday, March 29. Other positions are open until filled.
The Youth Corps will hire between 160-180 teenagers to work 30 hours per week, Monday through Thursday, from June 10 to July 31 on a variety of community service projects. Team leaders will be employed from May 29 to August 2 to work up to 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday. Projects will include such activities as forest thinning, historic preservation, construction and repair of fencing, trail maintenance, removal of Russian olive trees and noxious weeds, landscaping and replacing light bulbs with compact fluorescents. Youth Corps teams will work in unincorporated Boulder County as well as in cities and towns within Boulder County.
Applicants can apply online at www.bouldercounty.org/youthcorps. Applications can also be picked up at counseling offices in Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley schools; city and town personnel offices; most local recreation and youth centers and libraries; and the Boulder County Human Resources Department, 2025 14th St. (Boulder).
This year, Corps members will earn a starting wage of $7.78/hour, with the possibility of earning a $100 bonus at the end of the program based on merit and strong attendance. Teens who have worked for the Corps in past years can earn up to $8.28/hour. In addition, Corps members are eligible for reimbursement for the purchase of work boots and gloves. RTD bus passes for the purpose of traveling to and from centralized work meeting places may be subsidized.
Team Leaders must be high school graduates at least 21 years old with two years of college coursework or more, and Assistant Team Leaders must be high school graduates at least 18 years old, among other qualifications. A list of full qualifications is available online at www.bouldercounty.org/youthcorps. Team Leaders start at $13.50/hour and Assistant Team Leaders at $11.50/hour.
The Youth Corps offers one of the best first job opportunities available in Boulder County. Teams have completed projects such as constructing almost a mile of trail at Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat, replacing the residential fence at a Boulder County low-income housing development in Louisville, and preserving the McDonald Cabin at Betasso Preserve Open Space.
For more information, visit www.bouldercounty.org/youthcorps or call the Youth Corps office at 303-678-6104.
Housing assistance staff hopeful success will lead to additional voucher awards
Boulder County, Colo. – After only four months, Boulder County has utilized nearly 70 percent of the federal vouchers it received earlier this year to provide rental assistance to homeless military veterans.
Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced an award of $229,620 to help coordinate housing and other crucial supports for chronically homeless veterans in Boulder County. The assistance is in the form of 25 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers which since July have been administered by the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services (BCDHHS) in partnership with the VA. As of Veterans Day 2012, 17 of the vouchers have been issued to homeless veterans. Of these, 11 veterans have been fully housed.
“Knowing how many homeless veterans we have here in Boulder County, I’m not surprised by how quickly these vouchers are being utilized,” said Willa Williford, director of BCDHHS’ Housing Division. “But it’s a great feeling to know we’re opening doors for people who really need help.” As of January, the homeless population count was nearly 1,800 individuals in Boulder County. About 10 percent of the county’s homeless are veterans.
Housing Assistance Program Manager Amanda Guthrie noted that the Department of Veterans Affairs has indicated Boulder County’s work with the VASH vouchers thus far has been excellent. “According to their feedback, we’re quite successful in part because we’re philosophically well-aligned to serve this population, making us strong candidates for additional funding in the future,” she said.
BCDHHS is able to link clients to a wide range of services, including food and financial assistance, health coverage, and housing counseling, among others. In addition to rental assistance, the agency has been working closely with the VA to help stabilize the formerly-homeless veterans and support them on a path to self-sufficiency.
Boulder County to celebrate opening of Josephine Commons, named for a mine owner AND a human rights activist0
70-unit low-income development for seniors was fully leased within 5 days
Boulder County, Colo. – Just one year after its groundbreaking, project managers, elected officials, and residents will gather on Thursday, Oct. 18 to celebrate the grand opening of Josephine Commons, one of Boulder County’s largest affordable housing developments.
The grand opening celebration will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 18 at Josephine Commons, 455 N. Burlington Ave. in Lafayette. Congressman Jared Polis and the Boulder County Commissioners will be among those who will speak. There will be tours of the buildings and property, and the public is invited to attend.
Planning, construction, and operations of Josephine Commons are being overseen by the Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA), a division of the county’s Department of Housing and Human Services (BCDHHS). The county received a Certificate of Occupancy in late August for Phase I of the project, and had leased all of the apartments within five days. “The very quick lease-up is certainly a testament to the need for low-income housing in Boulder County,” said Frank Alexander, who is director of both the BCHA and BCDHHS. “It’s heartening to know that this project is helping boost the self-sufficiency and dignity of so many of our seniors.”
Phase I of Josephine Commons features 74 units on 3.4 acres of county-owned land in east Lafayette. This includes 70 apartment-style units in a mid-rise building. The 78,000-square-foot three-story main building also features a library, great room and large commercial kitchen. The project’s Phase II, Aspinwall at Josephine Commons, will feature 72 additional townhomes and duplex units for low-income seniors and families, and will break ground in mid-2013.
Funding for the $17.9 million Phase I of Josephine Commons has come largely from private investors through Low Income Housing Tax Credits arranged by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. Significant support also came from Boulder County taxpayers through $400,000 in Worthy Cause funding. And $550,000 in Colorado Home Investment Partnership (HOME) funds were provided by the Colorado Division of Housing. Other business support included a $12 million construction loan from Citibank.
Josephine Commons is named afterone-time owner of the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company, which once ran a coal mine where the development now sits. In the early 1930s, Roche stood out as a champion of workers’ rights, instituting the highest wages in the mining industry, fighting against child labor, and inviting unionization of her mines.
Also significant is the fact that the retired coal mines were used as renewable energy for Josephine Commons. Geothermal wells were drilled to depths of 400 feet, passing through the old mine shafts. Pipes were then installed to feed the heating and cooling systems, a process that greatly reduces the energy required for temperature control in the buildings. The project also features more than 100 kilowatts of rooftop and carport solar panel electricity generation.
Top Hat Supply has thrived at the same downtown Boulder location for 45 years. Top Hat is among the oldest downtown businesses in Boulder. Excelling at customer service, product quality and cleaning solutions. We are proud to be a great resource for the people and businesses of Boulder County and beyond. Not so glamorous, but we love what we do. Helping people find the right product to meet their needs, without waste and with the most efficiency and least harm to our environment. We have solutions, green products, 45 years of experience, free same day delivery and a tremendous product line for such a small space.
1729 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
The application deadline for the city’s Solar Grant Program has been extended to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31. The deadline extension provides more time for Boulder-based nonprofits and affordable housing owners to complete applications. For applications and program information, visit the city’s Solar Rebate and Solar Grant Programs website at www.bouldercolorado.gov/lead/solargrant.
More than $80,000 is currently available for the second grant funding cycle of 2012.
The Solar Grant Program is dedicated to providing financial assistance through grants for the installation of solar electric or solar thermal systems on housing for low- to moderate-income residents and on the facilities of nonprofit organizations operating in Boulder. The grants are funded by revenue generated through sales and use taxes from the purchase and installation of solar technologies in Boulder. A portion of the revenue is also used to provide tax rebates for solar installations within the community.
Since the Solar Grant Program began in 2008, it has contributed to the installation of approximately 700 kilowatts of solar power systems, which collectively save grant recipients $90,000 annually in energy costs.* Subject to funding availability, there will be another opportunity to apply for grants in 2013.
The Boulder Climate Action Plan promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation options for Boulder residents and businesses. For more information, contact Residential Sustainability Specialist Megan Cuzzolino at 303-441-3452.
CU-NOAA study provides first direct evidence of
heat-trapping effects of wildfire smoke particles
When the Fourmile Canyon Fire erupted west of Boulder in 2010, smoke from the wildfire poured into parts of the city including a site housing scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Within 24 hours, a few researchers at the David Skaggs Research Center had opened up a particle sampling port on the roof of the building and started pulling in smoky air for analysis by two custom instruments inside. They became the first scientists to directly measure and quantify some unique heat-trapping effects of wildfire smoke particles.
“For the first time we were able to measure these warming effects minute-by-minute as the fire progressed,” said CIRES scientist Dan Lack, lead author of the study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers also were able to record a phenomenon called the “lensing effect,” in which oils from the fire coat the soot particles and create a lens that focuses more light onto the particles. This can change the “radiative balance” in an area, sometimes leading to greater warming of the air and cooling of the surface.
While scientists had previously predicted such an effect and demonstrated it in laboratory experiments, the Boulder researchers were one of the first to directly measure the effect during an actual wildfire. Lack and his colleagues found that lensing increased the warming effect of soot by 50 to 70 percent.
“When the fire erupted on Labor Day, so many researchers came in to work to turn on instruments and start sampling that we practically had traffic jams on the road into the lab,” Lack said. “I think we all realized that although this was an unfortunate event, it might be the best opportunity to collect some unique data. It turned out to be the best dataset, perfectly suited to the new instrument we had developed.”
The instrument called a spectrophotometer can capture exquisite detail about all particles in the air, including characteristics that might affect the smoke particles’ tendency to absorb sunlight and warm their surroundings. While researchers know that overall, wildfire smoke can cause this lensing effect, the details have been difficult to quantify, in part because of sparse observations of particles from real-world fires.
Once the researchers began studying the data they collected during the fire, it became obvious that the soot from the wildfire was different in several key ways from soot produced by other sources — diesel engines, for example.
“When vegetation burns, it is not as efficient as a diesel engine, and that means some of the burning vegetation ends up as oils,” Lack said. In the smoke plume, the oils coated the soot particles and that microscopic sheen acted like a magnifying glass, focusing more light onto the soot particles and magnifying the warming of the surrounding air.
The researchers also discovered that the oils coating the soot were brown, and that dark coloration allowed further absorption of light, and therefore further warming the atmosphere around the smoke plume.
The additional warming effects mean greater heating of the atmosphere enveloped in dark smoke from a wildfire, and understanding that heating effect is important for understanding climate change, Lack said. The extra heating also can affect cloud formation, air turbulence, winds and even rainfall.
The discovery was made possible by state-of-the-art instruments developed by CIRES, NOAA and other scientists, Lack said. The instruments can capture fine-scale details about particles sent airborne by the fire, including their composition, shape, size, color and ability to absorb and reflect sunlight of various wavelengths.
“With such well-directed measurements, we can look at the warming effects of soot, the magnifying coating and the brown oils and see a much clearer, yet still smoky picture of the effect of forest fires on climate,” Lack said.
CU-Boulder announces conditions
for weapons in university housing
The University of Colorado Boulder today announced it is amending housing contracts to ask students who live in undergraduate residence halls and hold a Colorado concealed carry permit, or CCP, to forgo bringing a handgun to campus. The campus also will accommodate those who hold a CCP in a graduate student housing complex off the main campus, provided the permit holders store their weapon in a safe within their dwelling when they are not carrying it.
The university also is asking residence advisers and faculty who live in university housing to sign the same housing agreement as a condition of their residence in these facilities.
The actions follow a ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court on March 5, which allows individuals with state-issued concealed carry permits to carry handguns on university or college properties. The University of Colorado Board of Regents last spring delegated the authority to the chancellors of CU-Boulder and CU-Colorado Springs to create a process to implement the Colorado Supreme Court ruling in the campus residence environment.
“I believe we have taken reasonable steps to adhere to the ruling of the Colorado Supreme Court, while balancing that with the priority of providing a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano.
The approach would only affect, potentially, a very small number of individuals. An analysis by the University of Colorado shows that 0.6 percent of the faculty, staff and students on campus possess a CCP. A full 96 percent of CU-Boulder undergraduate students living in the residence halls are under the age of 21, and are thus ineligible to have a CCP. Of the 4 percent of eligible students, about half living on campus are CU Resident Advisers, or “RAs,” who as CU employees would not be permitted to live in undergraduate halls and possess a CCP.
Residence hall students who have a concealed carry permit or who obtain a concealed carry permit under Colorado law during the housing contract period may seek to be relocated to a University Apartment (if space is available) or be released from the residence hall contract without financial penalty.
Among the requirements for Colorado concealed carry permits are that the holder must be at least 21 years of age, complete an FBI background check, and have either previous military or police experience or proof of completion of a firearms training course.
Residence hall students may still store weapons at the University of Colorado Police Department on campus, which is open and available for drop off and pick up of weapons, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
CU-Boulder will continue to follow the CU Board of Regents policy that prevents the open display of weapons including guns, explosives and knives on campus. Only law enforcement officials who display their badges are allowed to openly display weapons while on campus.
Under concealed carry, anyone with a permit may carry a concealed handgun on campus generally and into CU buildings, with the exception of Folsom Field and any other ticketed public performance venue. The purchase of a ticket to a CU public performance constitutes an agreement with the university to not carry a concealed weapon, even as a CCP holder, into the venue.
Students begin moving into CU-Boulder residence halls on Tuesday, Aug. 21, and classes begin for the semester on Aug. 27.
Boulder County’s human services programs highlighted nationally
County’s focus on early intervention and prevention helping increasing numbers of people
Boulder County, Colo. – Boulder County’s front-end approach to providing human services will be in the national spotlight this weekend. On Sunday, June 24, Dateline NBC will feature a documentary on three families who have received services through the county and its collaboration with community providers.
According to the network’s description, the one-hour special, “America Now: Lost in Suburbia,” focuses on formerly middle class families confronting poverty for the first time. Dateline producers and camera crews have been in Boulder County since late 2011 conducting interviews and gathering footage for the documentary. Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services (DHHS) Director Frank Alexander spoke with Dateline NBC anchor Lester Holt for the program, and numerous interviews were also conducted with DHHS staff and representatives from community non-profit partner organizations.
The program will air this Sunday at 7 p.m. Mountain time on NBC.
Since 2008, Boulder County has seen a 150 percent increase in need for Food Assistance and a 63 percent increase in need for Medicaid services. Some of this increase is a result of people applying for human services assistance for the first time in their lives. Alexander notes that in recent years, in part to address this rising need, Boulder County has shifted to a front-end, early intervention and prevention approach to providing human services. “This involves helping clients identify their full range of needs as soon as they come to us,” he said. “For example, if we can help someone avoid foreclosure by getting him into housing counseling, we save him and the community nearly $75,000.”
Boulder County’s foreclosure rate has fallen 58 percent since it peaked in 2009, the same year the number of clients in DHHS’ foreclosure counseling program hit its high point. “Many clients who come to us for Food Assistance quickly find out that they also need housing counseling and are eligible for financial assistance with childcare,” Alexander said. “By investing more in this early identification of needs, we are saving money and helping people avoid deeper crisis.”
Ballot Initiative 1A, also known as the Temporary Human Services Safety Net (TSN), is helping generate funding for these crucial services. The TSN, passed by voters in November 2010, was designed to back-fill budget cuts to Boulder County’s human services programs. The county has seen a 20 percent cut to its human services funding at the state and federal level during a time when need has risen dramatically.
“Our front-end approach to human services is strengthening our safety net,” said Boulder County Commissioner Cindy Domenico. “Thanks in big part to the taxpayers and our community partners, as more of our neighbors find themselves needing help we’re building a system that is there to meet them earlier and more efficiently.”
Boulder County, Colo. – Nonprofit human service agencies and housing authorities in Boulder County may now apply for capital funds through Boulder County’s 2013 Worthy Cause pool.
The Worthy Cause Request for Funding application for 2013 pool funding is available on the Boulder County website atwww.BoulderCounty.org/gov/tax/pages/worthycause.aspx. Applications must be submitted by June 22.
During the 2008 General Election, Boulder County voters approved an extension of the .05 percent Worthy Cause sales tax with 73 percent of the vote. The 10-year initiative allocates a portion of sales tax revenue to Boulder County nonprofit human service agencies for capital projects, including the purchase of land or buildings; construction; renovation or debt reduction.
Revenues from the sales tax will be divided into two allocations: dedicated funding for nonprofit human service agencies that were identified in the ballot initiative, and competitive “pool” funding, for which qualifying nonprofit agencies may now apply via the Request for Funding process.
Throughout the course of Worthy Cause III, sales tax revenues have been leveraged through fundraising and other grants to strengthen our community services in early childhood learning, family support services, basic needs services such as food, clothing, housing and shelter, domestic violence and healthcare. To date, 28 local nonprofit human service agencies have been awarded approximately $5.5 million in capital awards since voters reapproved the tax in 2008.
For more information about Worthy Cause and the application process, contact Megan Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-441-3562.
SmartRegs/EnergySmart programs win national award for innovation
The City of Boulder’s SmartRegs ordinance and the EnergySmart service were presented with the J. Robert Havlick award for Innovation in Government by the Alliance for Innovation at its annual conference in Kansas City, MO, on April 18.
Innovation Awards are chosen from the 70+ applications received by a multi-member selection committee consisting of city and county managers from across the United States and Alliance staff. The selection committee looks for local governments that have shown a dedication to stretching and improving the boundaries of day-to-day government operations and practices, implementing creative business processes, and improving the civic health of the community.
These programs “won the 2012 J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government for demonstrating a pragmatic and progressive approach for long-lasting energy savings in their community,” said Karen Thoreson, president of the Alliance for Innovation. “The work combined the successful and innovative approach of utilizing a regulatory platform, financial incentives and technical assistance tools for homeowners and renters in order to achieve measurable and meaningful results.”
In September 2010, Boulder City Council adopted three ordinances requiring all of Boulder’s rental housing – approximately half of the city’s housing stock – to meet energy efficiency standards by 2019. The new “SmartRegs” requirements went into effect in January 2011, and are part of the Climate Action Plan’s (CAP) “Reduce Use” strategy area, which was established to promote energy-conserving behavior in homes and businesses throughout Boulder.
To help homeowners, landlords and tenants navigate the new SmartRegs ordinance, the city and Boulder County created a SmartRegs path through EnergySmart. EnergySmart services provide efficiency solutions for homes, whether rental or owner-occupied, commercial businesses, and property owners in all Boulder County communities, resulting in permanent improvements to the existing building stock. The EnergySmart service provides people with an energy assessment, as well as an expert Energy Advisor who recommends upgrades specific to each property, helps with rebate and financing applications, and even helps collect bids from contractors to perform energy upgrades.
Some of the key results in the City of Boulder from 2011’s SmartRegs and EnergySmart efforts include:
- 678 owner-occupied units participated in the EnergySmart services, with 67% completing upgrades.
- 2,081 renter-occupied units participated in the EnergySmart service as a result of the SmartRegs policy, with 33% completing upgrades.
- Owner-occupied units that participated saw an average annual energy savings of 714 kWh of electricity and 226 therms of natural gas (equivalent to $219 per year).
- Renter-occupied units that participated saw an average annual energy savings of 217 kWh of electricity and 72 therms of natural gas (equivalent to $63 per year).
- 1,687 services were provided to 960 individual businesses.
- Commercial property owners and businesses receiving quick installs saw an average annual energy savings of 421 kWh of electricity (equivalent to $52 per year), and 14,930 kWh of electricity for businesses receiving upgrades (equivalent to $1,318 per year).
The results achieved through both EnergySmart and SmartRegs demonstrate an innovative approach to complementing a policy requirement with assistance and funding to ease the burden of compliance.
EnergySmart aims to reach at least 10,000 homes and 3,000 businesses throughout Boulder County by June 2013. It is designed to stimulate local economic growth; increase energy efficiency investment in Colorado; and advance the state’s energy independence through energy upgrades. EnergySmart is a collaborative partnership throughout Boulder County, funded by a $25 million grant from the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Program, combined with contributions from the City of Boulder’s Climate Action Plan tax and the City of Longmont.
The Alliance for Innovation is an international network of progressive governments and partners committed to transforming local government by accelerating the development and dissemination of innovations. They seek out innovative practices, challenge existing business models, exchange knowledge, and provide products and services that help members perform at their best.
For more information on EnergySmart programs and services, visit www.EnergySmartYes.com, or call 303-544-1000 for residential information and 303-441-1300 for commercial information. More information about the Alliance for Innovation can be found at www.transformgov.org.
Boulder County receiving federal grant to house homeless veterans
First-ever investment will also bring VA case management to Boulder County
Boulder County, Colo. – As a result of an interagency collaboration, Boulder County will receive $229,620 to help house homeless veterans. The grant, announced earlier this week, will come to the county in the form of 25 vouchers known as VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) awards.
The federal departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) are working together for the first time to simultaneously meet the immediate need for housing and the ongoing need for human services for chronically homeless veterans and their families. While this collaboration has been underway since 2009, this is the first time Boulder County has received the federal grant focused specifically on housing homeless veterans.
Boulder County’s Department of Housing and Human Services (HHS) will administer the program. HHS Housing Division Director Willa Williford noted that the VASH vouchers come at a crucial time. “Boulder County has the second largest homeless population in the Denver metro area,” Williford said. “In the past five years, we’ve seen homelessness in Boulder County nearly double; the most recent count was almost 1,800 individuals. Many people are surprised to learn that 10 percent of Boulder County’s homeless are veterans, so while these vouchers just scratch the surface, they’re a welcome acknowledgement of the depth of need in our community.”
The Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services, in collaboration with Boulder Housing Partners and the Longmont Housing Authority, are working with the VA on a timeline for implementation of the vouchers and specifics around how the program will work. The VA also plans to place a case worker in Boulder County, and for veterans this will help ease the stress of needing to travel to Denver for services.
The VASH vouchers awarded to Boulder County are largely the result of advocacy at the federal level by Boulder Housing Partners. The grant is also due in part to strong support from Sen. Mark Udall and Reps. Jared Polis and Cory Gardner.
The Boulder County Commissioners have also been supportive of the effort. “This grant will help some of our veterans find a safe and affordable place to live,” Commissioner Deb Gardner said. “Creating that stability for people is a critical piece of the county’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness and we’re thankful for the collaboration that brought this program together. We look forward to working with all willing partners as we work to reduce and end homelessness.”
Affordable homes open house event scheduled for Feb. 26
Interested homebuyers have an opportunity to tour 18 affordable properties in the City of Boulder’s Homeownership Program during open houses being held Sunday, Feb. 26, from noon to 3 p.m. To view pictures of available homes and get a list of properties participating in this event, visit www.boulderaffordablehomes.com and click on the Homeownership Program link.
Homes available for viewing include studios, condos, townhomes and single family homes starting at around $100,000 for a one-bedroom, one-bath condo and $200,000 for a three-bedroom, 3-bath row home.
The City of Boulder, through the affordable Homeownership Program, works to make homes available to a variety of people in our community. This includes those who could not otherwise purchase a home in today’s housing market. The program offers opportunities for homeownership to those with low and moderate incomes through assistance in purchasing homes sold at affordable prices, or through down payment assistance on market rate homes. Assistance is available for a variety of income levels.
For more information on the program, homes available, income and asset requirements, or the date of the next free program orientation visit www.boulderaffordablehomes.com or call 303-441-3157, ext. 2. The Homeownership Program is administered by the City of Boulder, Department of Housing and Human Services.