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HUD dollars at work in Fountain


Last updated 5/11/2021 at 3:36pm | View PDF

Karin Hill

Construction crews work on the Villas at Mesa Ridge, a 60-unit senior apartment building just east of Safeway, on May 7.

Sometimes big federal budget decisions seem ambiguous, and it's hard to see the effects in real life. One recent allocation of $10 million for affordable housing in Colorado will have a direct impact on senior housing right here in Fountain.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced the allocation of $10,030,779 to Colorado through the nation's Housing Trust Fund (HTF) for affordable housing. The state must use at least 80 percent of each annual grant for rental housing. HTF funds may be used for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing with suitable amenities.

A new senior apartment complex under construction along Mesa Ridge Parkway is one that will benefit from the funds. Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation, a nonprofit organization that provides service-enriched housing programs for residents of rental housing communities throughout the country, will be implementing senior services at this location.

"HUD exists to support housing and create thriving communities for all," said Flynann Janisse, executive director of Rainbow Housing. "At a crucial time when the pandemic-suppressed economy impacts all Americans, this funding is a prime example of how HUD can effectively lift up those low-income households that are most negatively impacted. We are thankful that the Housing Trust Fund will be replenished so that our organization and others like us can continue to create and maintain safe and affordable homes for families across the country."

Rainbow provides resident services to several affordable communities across Colorado. The company's Fountain project is Villas at Mesa Ridge, the new 60-unit senior living development currently under construction near Safeway and the Cross Creek neighborhood.

Developed by Zimmerman Properties, Villas at Mesa Ridge will feature affordable rental housing for residents 62 and older.

The vacant land was donated to the city in 2009. Zimmerman Properties approached the city a few years ago about purchasing the land for this development, and city leaders agreed that senior housing would be a much-welcomed addition.

Zimmerman worked with the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and other sources to assist with funding the project, which is estimated to cost around $17 million. The use of government tax credits allows the developer to offer lower rents.

Construction of Villas at Mesa Ridge is progressing quickly, but it will be several months before it's completed. This newspaper will update when there is information for prospective residents.

To learn more about Rainbow, visit


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