Bill Clinton Tours Stout Street Health Center Project in Denver
June 24, 2014
Former President Bill Clinton toured the nearly completed Stout Street Health Center project in downtown Denver this week, commending both the innovative project and the public-private partnership that made it possible. The $35 million development was financed in part by Building America CDE, a subsidiary of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, which allocated $8.5 million of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to the project. The NMTC program was first proposed by Clinton during his presidency and was signed into law in 2000 before he exited the White House.
The project, sponsored by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, is nearing completion of both the health center and the Renaissance Stout Street Lofts above the clinic. The new development will replace the old health center across the street that has served Denver’s homeless for almost 30 years. The new building features 78 supportive and mixed-income housing units targeting formerly homeless and vulnerable families and individuals. This model of providing supportive housing with the health center on the ground floor is the only one of its kind in the country and furthers efforts by Colorado Coalition for the Homeless to serve the multi-faceted needs of its clients.
The former President is in Denver this week for the annual Clinton Global Initiative America Conference that focuses on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States. In his opening remarks at the conference, Clinton referenced the Stout Street project as an example of “inclusive capitalism.” He also told the Denver Post that he believes the New Markets Tax Credits "can play a major role in our economic revival" by jump-starting projects across the country.
The NMTC program was created to increase the flow of capital to businesses and low-income communities by providing a modest tax incentive to private investors. “This project is a prime example of the use of NMTCs to invest private capital in a project that will provide healthcare services and affordable housing to residents of low-income communities,” said Building America’s CEO, Eric Price, who toured the site with Clinton. “Colorado Coalition for the Homeless will be able to further its reach as a result of this financing structure, which combined private capital, government funds, and foundation resources using NMTC equity as the projects’ gap financing.”
The construction of the new facility was built with 100% union labor as a result of Building America’s involvement. The project has created more than 105 union construction jobs and the health center will create 70 new full-time jobs while retaining 100 existing healthcare and related positions.
Neal Hall, Business Manager of the Colorado Building and Construction Trades Council, who also attended the tour, commented, “Our members really appreciated the chance to have their work recognized by President Clinton. Building America’s all-union labor policy has helped us show off the benefits of building union here in Colorado.” The former President stopped to chat with union construction workers as he walked the site, signing his name on many of their hard hats.
The new health center will offer primary medical care, dental, vision, mental health, and substance abuse treatment to more than 18,000 homeless individuals annually in Denver. The financing of this new facility will allow the health center to increase its capacity by approximately 75%. The Stout Street Lofts, funded through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, will increase the supply of supportive housing serving persons with ongoing health and mental health needs that can be addressed through the health center and on-site social services. The project is also generating an estimated $70 million in direct and indirect economic activity in Denver and is expected to reduce state and local costs for emergency healthcare, detox, and municipal fire/safety services by 30% annually.
“We are excited that the new Health Center and Lofts will immediately create a health care home for more than 18,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in Metro Denver, as well as a real home for families and individuals currently living on the streets or in emergency shelters,” said John Parvensky, president of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. “We are grateful that the community has come together to support this vital resource in the struggle to end homelessness in Colorado.”