May 3, 2018
Kestrel Affordable Housing Community gets a truly grand opening
Hundreds of local
seniors, families, and elected officials attended the Grand Opening Ceremony
for 200 units of new affordable housing in Louisville, Colo.
Boulder County, Colo. - The Boulder County Department of Housing & Human Services (BCDHHS) celebrated the Grand Opening of the Kestrel affordable housing community in Louisville on Tuesday, May 1 alongside several hundred attendees, including new residents, housing and family support experts, and elected officials.
“I’ve been in Louisville since 1991, and Kestrel has allowed us to remain in the community that we love so much, near friends and family, and my son’s school, “ said new Kestrel resident Shana Nair. “Before coming to Kestrel, we lived in the same house for 13 years but could not afford to buy it. Moving to a new place isn’t just about being a renter, it’s about being part of a new community—I want to thank all of my neighbors here at Kestrel for being so welcoming.”
Event attendees explored the newly-launched multigenerational community while enjoying refreshments from Sweet Cow’s Moo Mobile and The Community Table Kitchen from Boulder Bridge House. Event speakers, including new resident Shana Nair and numerous elected officials, highlighted the central role of community, collaboration, and vision in the success of the Kestrel project.
“Everywhere I go, I mention this project,” said U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Eric Cobb (see the video). “It is the creativity, long term vision, and true partnership between federal, state, local, and private sector partners we see here today that can be modeled by communities across the country.”
In addition to Cobb and Nair, event speakers at the Kestrel grand opening included Louisville Mayor Bob Muckle, Colorado Department of Human Services Deputy Executive Director of Operations Tony Gherardini, Colorado Division of Local Affairs Director Irv Halter, Boulder County Commissioners, BCDHHS Director Frank Alexander, Louisville City Councilor Jay Keany, and Jefferson County Human Services Director Lynn Johnson, who was recently selected to lead the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“What we want you to take away from today is the possibility of working together towards common, timeless principals,” said BCHHS Director Frank Alexander (see the video). “If we could just take a minute to care for each other just a bit more, every one of us, and to care for the land that we live on, and the environment that we’re responsible for, the people who are aging within our community, the people who are homeless within our community, and those of us that are facing a medical or financial crisis - as if they were us - the world could change pretty fast.”
The award-winning Kestrel community has been recognized at the municipal and federal levels for its forward-looking approach to incorporating safe, affordable, and beautiful homes with free transportation, environmental sustainability, active lifestyle opportunities, and other on-site supports and services. Kestrel community’s 200 below-market-rate rental homes are located at Highway 42 just north of S. Boulder Road in Louisville. The community is now 100% leased to multi-generational, local, low-income residents and families.
The Kestrel community has increased affordable housing options for low-income families and seniors in Louisville by 33%. Kestrel also makes a significant contribution to the Boulder County Regional Housing Strategy, which seeks to create 300 new affordable homes each year as part of an effort to meet a 12% total affordability goal for the region by the year 2035.
“Kestrel is a model of regional collaboration for how to address the affordable housing crisis in our region,” said Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones (see the video). “Boulder County has worked with all the municipalities in the county to develop an affordable housing strategy…[that] establishes a regional goal of 12% affordable housing by the year 2035—and Kestrel is an example of how we are going to get that done.”
Kestrel features high quality permanently-affordable housing for families and seniors, a community center, gardens, and walking trails. It also boasts sustainability features such as geothermal heating and cooling and low-energy-use appliances, and each resident receives an RTD EcoPass for free regional bus transportation. Kestrel residents also have access to many other supports – including food assistance, health coverage, and help with child care - to ensure they have a better chance to thrive for many years to come.
The multi-year Kestrel project included a rigorous community engagement process, launched when Boulder County purchased the 10-acre Alkonis property in 2013. The Boulder County Housing Authority partnered with city council representatives and city staff from Louisville as well as community members to develop a collective vision for affordable housing on the site. A series of community and City of Louisville meetings provided helpful feedback and input that BCHA and the city incorporated into Kestrel’s design and unit makeup.
“It is a pleasure to collaborate with Boulder County however you can—we do this in transportation, shared open spaces, and now in affordable housing.” said Louisville Mayor Bob Muckle. “Kestrel is a great start to addressing the affordability issues across the county. To continue this work, we signed on to the countywide Regional Affordable Housing Plan and hope to have more and more opportunities to collaborate with Boulder County HHS in the future. “
More information about Kestrel is available at www.BoulderCountyKestrel.org. For additional information, please contact Jim Williams at Boulder County Housing and Human Services at email@example.com.