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Sat Mar 3, 2018, 06:25 AM

A Massive Complex in Lakewood Could House 1,000 Homeless

Late last summer, an employee with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless was driving by a vacant lot near Union Boulevard and Sixth Avenue in Lakewood and noticed a large sign that declared “For Sale: Transit-Oriented Development.”

This was a shock, since the federal government, which owns the lot in question, near the Denver Federal Center, had already declared it hazardous and unsuitable for use by service providers for the homeless; CCH had actually looked into acquiring the property under a provision known as the McKinney-Vento Act that awards surplus federal land to states, local governments or nonprofits to assist people experiencing homelessness. This was the same provision that the nonprofit used in 1994 to obtain parcels of land in Lowry when the Lowry Air Force Base closed. But Housing and Urban Development had put its foot down regarding the Lakewood property when it determined it was unsafe, the explanation being that the lot had previously been used as a landfill and there were toxic chemicals in the soil.

“So our thought was: How can this be sold as market-rate, mixed-use development and not be suitable for the homeless?" recalls John Parvensky, president and CEO of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.

After going through an appeals process and still being told no by the feds, CCH had its own experts debunk the toxic-chemical claims, then decided to go to court.

Read more: http://www.westword.com/news/colorado-coalition-for-the-homelesss-lakewood-complex-could-house-homeless-10040918

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