In Denver, Colorado, the price of housing continues to rise, but opportunities to create low-income housing are expensive and, take years to build.
So when the Quality Inn and Suites on Quebec St. went up for sale, the president of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) saw a golden opportunity.
John Parvensky snapped up the 139-room complex for $8.4 million, secured with a mixture of private, city and state funds, and completed some brief renovations before christening it Fusion Studios. Fusion Studios, serving a variety of people in need, represents the 17th building he has opened in 3 decades of work.
Rooms are expected to be available for the people who come right in off the street or from shelters across the city, as soon as the end of the month.
For renters, vouchers can be secured by prospective tenants from the state and city to ensure that no more than 30% is required from their incomes for rent. Parvensky said on average, tenants can manage about $100 a month, with a lot of it coming from other benefits such as disability payments received.
The floor and room plan is divided up by a person’s circumstances rather than by size and luxury. 28 rooms will be set aside for those awaiting trial for low-level crimes like public urination and trespassing. Another 10 are reserved for homeless folks who find themselves frequenting Denver Public Hospitals.
For individuals looking to move on to other forms of affordable and permanent housing or who have housing currently being constructed for them, another 25 rooms have been set aside. Britta Fisher, head of Denver’s housing department called Fusion Studios “practically instant housing”.
“We all know that we need more housing units, that we need them quickly,” she told Denverite during Tuesday’s opening ceremony. “I truly hope we can replicate this model and partnerships at other sites in Denver.”