At a time when Denver has become the hottest market in the country and rents are rising faster than anywhere except Oakland, Calif., there are a dozen reasons why builders have a hard time building affordably priced homes. Nowhere is that tougher than in Stapleton – Denver's most popular new community, where parks, restaurants and new schools lure buyers willing to reach into the $400s, $500s and $600s for new products. But Stapleton's master developer Forest City has brought in builders who are going the extra mile to create opportunities for first-time and other deserving buyers to get out of renting, into owning a home.
‘Gete' Mekonnen with Northeast Denver Housing Center, a non-profit, is wrapping up a sell-out of 18 Spruce Townhomes in Stapleton's Central Park West, where prices started in the mid-$100s. “At Stapleton, it's about more than housing,” he says. “The matrix that makes it successful involves how close you are to schools, shopping and jobs.” NDHC already has contracts on another 20 units, and is looking at 20-to-30 more for a site now in planning.
“We encourage families to talk with us,” he adds, noting that NDHC has free counseling on routes to home ownership in association with CHFA and organizations. “It's always good to be educated about what it takes.” On previous income-qualified offerings from either builder, buyers have been eligible to buy if income was no larger than $51,150 for a household of two; $63,900 for a household of four.
Mekonnen say it's important to families with limited incomes to choose locations like Stapleton where jobs, shopping and recreation are close, keeping commuting and transportation costs low. To visit the whole range of affordable offerings in Stapleton's newest neighborhoods, from central Stapleton take Central Park Boulevard north past I-70, to Northfield Boulevard and turn left a half mile to Uinta, then turn right on 49th Place.
WHERE: Northeast Denver Housing Center, each continuing to create affordably priced homes in Stapleton, Forest City's master-planned community with 55 parks, 38 miles of trails, more than 100 shops/stores, 15 minutes from downtown; Commuter Rail arrives 2016