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Boulder Planning Board Addresses Proposed Downtown At-Risk Young Adult Housing Site

Posted: July 13, 2016 at 12:49 pm by , in Breaking News, Featured, Morning Magazine

“This is a human problem, we can’t think of it as a business, we can’t think of it as a way to push people out but actually bring people in to grow especially at this vulnerable age of 18-24 who have experienced many things we can’t even understand.”

On Thursday July 14th, the Boulder Planning Board will hear a proposal for a development on an existing parking lot on the corner of Pine Street and 15th Street on the First United Methodist Church site. The proposal would see a three-story 30,000 square foot building containing 40 affordable rental units, associated common area and office space and 95 total parking spaces.

The units are intended for homeless young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 years old who are in need for supportive services and would be managed by Attention Homes. Attention Homes already offers one housing facility in Boulder for youth ages 12 to 24 who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. They are now looking to create another larger facility at a site in downtown Boulder.

KGNU’s Danielle Seat reports that at a community meeting about the project held on June 23rd, some members of the surrounding community expressed concerns about the likely changes the facility would contribute.

Claire Clurman, Executive Director of Attention Homes told the community gathering that by helping at risk youth, the proposed project will help to prevent chronic adult homelessness.

And also attending the meeting was Mike Homner, who has personally dealt with homelessness. He was able to get back on his feet because of a similar supportive housing organization in Boulder. Homner says the community should look at the benefits of a project like this from a human stand point instead of an economical one.

“This is a human problem, we can’t think of it as a business, we can’t think of it as a way to push people out but actually bring people in to grow especially at this vulnerable age of 18-24 who have experienced many things we can’t even understand.”

The meeting broke into small groups to discuss everyone’s opinions on a more personal level. Some community members expressed concerns about the chosen location, the impact on local property prices and other issues like safety and parking.

One community member who asked not to be named, says that while he supports the idea of supportive housing and wants those in tough situations to receive help, he questions the choice of location . He also says that low density zoning is enforced in the neighborhood and he is concerned about having a high density residence in the midst of it.

“One of my concerns is that it might change the character of the neighborhood. It is a high risk population and even though I am fully supportive of this type of work that the city would engage in, I just wonder if this is the best location for it, in terms of parking and just the number of units.”

The Proposed Attention Homes project will be discussed at the Boulder Planning Board Meeting on Thursday, July 14th at 6pm at Boulder City Council Chambers, 1777 Broadway.