Commerce City Housing Authority approves first-ever strategic plan to guide future activities


COMMERCE CITY, COLO. – The Commerce City Housing Authority (CCHA) approved the organization’s first-ever strategic plan, establishing clear goals, objectives and action items to support the changing needs of the community.

“Commerce City must have affordable housing for people across the income spectrum to truly be a great city,” said Lynette Malloy, CCHA chairperson. “Thanks to numerous individuals who provided insight and expertise, this plan will shape affordable housing in Commerce City over the next five to 10 years.”

Local economic conditions have reflected the national economic downturn, resulting in an increased demand for affordable housing and housing assistance programs that CCHA provides. With shrinking federal and state resources, the strategic plan notes CCHA needs to expand their ability to produce revenue so the authority can be less dependent on subsidies. Adopting a more entrepreneurial way of doing business and seeking operational efficiencies will allow CCHA to continue serving those who receive assistance and serve even more citizens in the future.

The CCHA was created in 1979 when citizens saw the need to provide housing to low and moderate income households throughout the community. In the early years, the authority’s task and priorities were linked with redevelopment and home ownership opportunities.

At its peak, more than nine employees administered grants, completed residential rehabilitations and oversaw new developments. As federal funding and grants sharply declined over the last two decades, CCHA worked within limited resources to achieve its mission of ensuring housing for all people.

Today, CCHA has an ownership interest in 226 quality, affordable units in Commerce City. The authority also provides Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers that helps obtain eligible private rental housing. In 2011, CCHA had 70 vouchers for distribution and the need for this support is great. In fact, the authority’s wait list for the federally-subsidized program has been closed since 2002.

“As we entered our 32nd year of operation, CCHA’s history, current challenges and strengths provided a timely background for undertaking a comprehensive planning process,” said Tracy Jones, housing coordinator for CCHA. “In addition to updating our vision and mission statement, we’ve set five goals and initial action items that address areas the housing authority is responsible for. Moving forward, the board of directors will help prioritize our actions and we’ll measure and monitor our success against the plan.”

A copy of the plan is available at The five areas the authority is focusing on includes: preserving and enhancing the number of quality affordable homes; examining opportunities for new affordable housing developments; developing additional services and opportunities to promote self-sufficiency; working with partners to develop and meet common affordable housing goals; and continually strive for an excellent and professional authority. An example of early success towards plan implementation is a recent acquisition.

At the end of August, CCHA purchased the undeveloped portion of the Conter Estates subdivision, consisting of 24 vacant lots, Tract A and B, plus three developed lots which contain residential rental patio homes, for $647,900. CCHA, who once owned these properties, used $547,900 of unrestricted cash reserves and a tax-exempt donation component valued at $100,000 to make the purchase from BaseCamp Conter LLC and BaseCamp Development LLC.

The subdivision originally established a 55-year of age or older owner/tenant requirement for the property and the developer had attempted to remove this requirement prior to CCHA’s purchase. Three of the original lots are privately owned by age-qualified homeowners and CCHA plans to reinstate this provision into the homeowner association’s covenants soon.

“Given the lack of affordable older adult housing in the north metro area, the Conter Estates subdivision will be a destination for senior living in a welcoming community,” noted Jones. Adjacent to Conter Estates Senior Housing Apartments Phases I and II, the authority’s flagship senior tax credit development, Jones believes the property’s proximity to the recreation center, transit, dog track redevelopment and other amenities will entice future residents to the city.

“Building a Quality Community for a Lifetime means maximizing the availability of safe, quality, attainable housing for all residents, while fostering stability, promoting dignity and self sufficiency,” added Jones. “This is an exciting project and will help us not only achieve sustainability, but puts us on the right track to successfully implement our strategic plan.”