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Affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness to get renovation

Forum Apartments sits right across from City Hall
Forum Apartments
Posted at 5:22 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 20:07:34-04

DENVER — DENVER — A 100-unit apartment building in downtown Denver that is focused on providing housing for people experiencing homelessness is getting a revamp from head to toe.

Excitement is starting to build for residents of the Forum Apartments, which sit directly across from City Hall.

"Everything will be brand new," said Jon Lonardo, who lives in the building.

In about a year, the building that since 1995 has served as long-term housing for people who were once homeless will finally get a much-needed renovation.

"There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed, and certainly there needs to be some really major stuff done," said Carl Huey, who lives in the Forum Apartments.

Renovations include changes to the air conditioning system, elevators, electricity, plumbing, and more. For the Colorado Coalition for Homeless, which owns the building, the face lift provides residents with a better quality of life.

"To be able to have a new kitchen and new appliances, new counters, new furnishings; to have elevators that don't break down every other day or every other week, and to have upgraded community space so that the 100 people who are living here can get together to work on issues ... you know, [to] have a quality of life that they all longed for," said John Parvensky, CEO and president of the coalition.

The renovations were made possible because of $10 million in bonds that were approved by city council.

"And then the city will get in return a commitment that this building will stand for 60 years to provide housing for low-income individuals, particularly targeted to those who are homeless," said Parvensky.

"I am grateful for what I do have. And any improvement, I am grateful for that as well," said Huey.

People who live at the Forum Apartments pay 30% of their income in rent and if they don’t have a job, there are social workers here to help. Currently, the building is 100% occupied.

Renovations will begin in November and should be done by next fall.