DHA SUN VALLEY HUD CHOICE NEIGHBORHOOD IMPLEMENTATION GRANT QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (Q&A) #2

1/31/2020


The following are in response to questions to DHA by City Councilwoman At Large Ortega’s office as Sun Valley community concerns regarding planning and communication of the DHA Sun Valley Choice Neighborhood development. We appreciate the questions and DHA is committed to written Q&A’s to help facilitate information flow on this important community revitalization. Please see below and attached Sun Valley Phasing Model and February 2020 Sun Valley Redevelopment

 

HOUSING:


Question: Sun Valley community was informed at the November 20, 2019 Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting that 88 units will remain out of the original 333 SVH units and affected units may change due to required onsite infrastructure improvements e.g., water, streets, etc. Is this accurate?


Answer: DHA will complete a 1-1 replacement of the original 333 Sun Valley public housing units. A phased demolition began in 2018 in order to minimize any temporary relocation of residents while replacement units are completed. We expect that the last phase of demolition will be the 88 +/- units identified in the master plan as Phase 3/Zone C (Please refer to Sun Valley Phasing plan.) The referenced 88 units (existing public housing units) will remain available through 2024 while final replacement units are completed. The first new replacement units will be delivered in December 2020 and available to residents being relocated in Phase 2/Zone B.


The December 2020 date was addressed in writing in the December 10, 2019 Q&A and distributed to the attendees at the December 10th Sun Valley Community Open House held at Fairview Elementary School. The Q&A was also electronically sent to SV Community Coalition (SVCC (RNO)) for distribution to members of the SVCC on Dec 11, 2019.
Completion of all housing units, including all replacement units, is scheduled for November 2023 with a total of 727 new units: 333 Replacement Units; 212 new affordable, unsubsidized units; and 182 new market rate units. A possible Phase 5 development of 120+ units is being studied.


RESIDENT RELOCATION:


Question: Residents were informed that the phasing of new units in Sun Valley would be available to avoid displacement. We learned recently that DHA is now telling residents that they will have to be relocated, with relocation to start in May. Is this accurate?


Answer: Residents in Phase 2 / Zone B will be relocated between May 2020 and April of 2021 to allow for the abatement, demolition and construction of new streets: 10th Avenue between Decatur and Bryant; and Bryant between 11th and 9th Avenues. DHA Relocation staff are meeting with each individual household to explain their rights and to determine their preferences, including: (1) remaining on-site; (2) temporary relocation; (3) permanent move to another DHA property; or (4) transfer to Housing Choice Voucher program.


Question: Why were letters sent to affected Phase II residents?


Answer: DHA informed Phase 2 affected SVH residents of the relocation schedule at an informational resident meeting five-months in advance to prepare residents on their housing options in advance of DPS 2020-2021 School-Choice Round 1, which opens Jan. 15-Feb.18, 2020. Affected residents will have nine-months to work with DHA Sun Valley relocation caseworker on their relocation housing preferences and plan.


Question: Why were two Sun Valley Homes resident relocation meetings held the week of 1/6 to discuss relocation?
Answer: As above, the January 6th, 2020 informational resident meetings were scheduled so as to better enable SV families to understand their options ahead of the 2020-2021 DPS Round 1 Choice program.
It is the goal of the DHA relocation effort to prioritize families with school age children who indicate their Round 1 Choice of Fairview Elementary to be temporarily relocated within Sun Valley or scheduled for temporary relocation to Gateway units when they become available for lease up and occupancy in December 2020. This goal is to minimize disruption of student achievement and help families who choose to keep their children at their neighborhood school.
Official relocation notices, per HUD guidelines, will occur in accordance with the attached December 2019 Sun Valley Phasing Timeline.


13TH AVENUE / BRYANT STREET IMPROVEMENTS


Question: It was reported at the CAC meeting that there will be a roundabout at Decatur/Holden. The community had previously said they didn’t want this roundabout. DHA is doing design/build of 13th Avenue although community wasn’t initially informed of that. What is the status of this section of the development?


Answer: Per the community engagement schedule, DHA and PW initiated discussions with SV CAC, RNO, and LRC in first quarter of 2019, when it was determined that conceptual 13th Ave road realignment was not feasible. The proposed alternative 13th Avenue / Bryant Street alignment received community support. The roundabout concept was being explored as a possible solution to Decatur/Holden intersection because it did not impact existing property owners, a major community concern with financial impact. Through activated communication and concerns raised by SV CAC, RNO and Local Resident Council (LRC); DHA and PW brought forth three (3) design options at 12/10/19 SV Community Open House to initiate continued discussion of a preferred intersection design. DHA and PW are moving forward with engineering and cost feasibility of the 3-options and will engage community to determine preferred alternative.
13th Avenue realignment /Bryant Street alternative will not move forward without final input of the community through the SV CAC, RNO, and SV LRC. And DITO/City approval.


Question: There is currently no parking on 13th Ave which is a concern of EarthLinks and will be an issue for residents, some who do not have parking on their property. Will there be parking on 13th Avenue?


Answer: The 13th Avenue improvements will include on-street parking.


YOUTH/ FAMILY SERVICES:


Question: Earlier versions of the Sun Valley Master Plan included a youth/family services hub. Kris Rollerson of the Sun Valley Youth Center led planning/brainstorming meetings with the DHA team and community stakeholders over the course of a few years. What has changed with the plans for the Youth and Family Hub?


Answer: The master plan for Sun Valley had conceptual plans for a single-site youth/family serving facility with an anchor partner and ancillary service providers. The master plan continues to evolve, based on continued financial, design, and program assessments. DHA regularly shares updated plans and concepts with the CAC and related working groups for discussion and input.


The Youth/ Family Services HUB continues to be explored; including programmatic, design, and location options. The initial concept of a comprehensive, single-site building on the Xcel land had to be deferred until at least 2023 due to the process, financing, and remediation timelines for site acquisition and entitlements. DHA activated the SV People Center as an interim solution and continues to work with neighborhood-based and other service providers on delivering the desired programs and services memorialized in the Sun Valley Plan for Transformation. Current plans include expansion of the People Center to offer physical and mental health services and inclusion of ECE program space in the Thrive building across the street from People Center.


Question: Why was Gary Community Investments (GCI) involved with some of the planning discussions, including at meetings with architects?


Answer: Meetings with Gary Community Investments through the SV Moving Forward Working Group (WG) occurred from April 13, 2017 through October 19, 2017. GCI presented and trained on Collective Impact Model as possible approach to the Youth and Family Hub. A DHA contracted architect attended Moving Forward WG on March 8, 2018 to discuss the planning for proposed Youth and Family HUB (initially proposed as a Learning Campus at a SV CAC meeting on March 22, 2017).

 

Question: DHA asked for a meeting with Kris Rollerson, Sun Valley Youth Center to provide update and clarification on Youth/Family Hub, and had legal there. What was the outcome of this meeting?

Answer: As above. DHA’s Executive Director and Director of Community Connections met with Director of Sun Valley Youth Center Kris Rollerson on September 19, 2019. Discussion focused on status of initial Youth and Family Hub, challenges of the collective impact model, and exploration of alternate opportunities to deliver youth and family services. (DHA verified no legal staff were present.).


Question: DHA is building a large residential building on Holden Place with a shared alley with Sun Valley Youth Center. There is concern about access and regular traffic flow in the alley. Is it possible to limit access to the alley by the new building and keep the section by SVYC less trafficked for youth safety?

 

Answer: DHA is scheduled to meet with affected property owners at W. 13th Ave, W. Holden and Decatur Street on February 7, 2020 continue dialogue on the planning.

COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT (CBA):
 

Question: Please address the following concerns raised about the CBA:
           • Timeframe to get the CBA together with Jeanne Granville, President of SVCC, e.g., Sue Powers, Dan Shah (stakeholders), etc. before rezoning in May 2020.
           • Need well-formulated and proper ask in place
           • Denver Foundation will assist with funding for community outreach and legal expertise

 

Answer: DHA is a participant in the Westside Stadium Community Coalition (WSCC) Steering Committee and attended the Tuesday, January 21, 2020 meeting at SV Kitchen were members identified preliminary priorities, identified working groups and lead for each working group. Next meeting scheduled for Wed. Feb 12, 2020 at Steam on the Platte.

 

OTHER CONCERNS:

 

Question: There are concerns DHA is behind schedule and scrambling because funds are at risk to complete the build out. Please provide a written response and update. (The original request and DHA response are attached).

 

Answer: The SV redevelopment is on schedule to deliver all units as required by the HUD CNI grant deadlines. CHFA and City funding commitments also have delivery commitments which DHA will meet. The IGA approach to 13th Avenue/Bryant Street improvements was agreed to ensure critical path milestones were met.

 

DHA has scheduled meeting with SV Youth Center on February 7, 2020 and will continue to work through the SV CAC, SV Site and Housing Working Group, RNO-SVCC and SV Resident Council on streets, traffic flow, access, neighborhood connectivity etc., during the planning of Greenhaus and Thrive buildings and infrastructure planning through 2020-2022.

COMMUNICATION AND FUTURE CAC MEETINGS:

 

Question: How will DHA improve on communications and engagement with the community going forward?
 

Answer: DHA has scheduled several special meetings and will continue to meet with the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) on a monthly basis. The time and format of the meetings will be evaluated and adjusted to ensure sufficient time for information sharing, Q&A, and community input. DHA is also committed to formally launching the SV Redevelopment Website in February 2020 to improve communications and engagement.

 

Additionally, the DHA Sun Valley Choice Neighborhood People team publish and distribute door-to-door to Sun Valley Homes residents a weekly newsletter with SV CNI upcoming events, i.e., English as a Second Language Class, Harvest Festival, Farm Stand, weekly Healthy Living classes, Healthy Corner, resident spotlight, redevelopment meetings, events week-at-a-glance, etc.