The Housing Solutions 2016 Summit:
Ensemble and VSS Support Local Affordable Housing Solutions
Prior to the 2016 Tiny House Jamboree, VSS Co-Founder Mike Schmidt was asked by the local Colorado Springs PATH organization (Peoples Access to Homes which at that time was part of The Independence Center in Colorado Springs) to help them develop and hold a Housing Summit in Colorado Springs in September of 2016 to bring together a wide ranging group of local city officials, builders, developers, and citizens to address some of the key challenges facing our community in the development and deployment of low cost housing. Note: Click on flyer at right for details)
Not only did Mr. Schmidt help to define the mission and vision for the event, but also developed the marketing, branding and messaging for the program and divided it into 4 separate focus areas:
- (1) Zoning & Planning
- (2) Finance & Banking
- (3) Housing Development
- (4) Community Development.
Click HERE for an Extended PDF of the Housing Solutions Summit Flyer
Mr. Schmidt also helped to sponsor the event and functioned as an M/C for the half-day conference that was also co-sponsored by UCCS and The Independence Center. There were over 125 people in attendance and it was a good first start to get the creative juices flowing with local community officials to see what kind of “options” there are in the market place to consider for the development of affordable housing. At the right is a thumbnail of the Event Flyer for the event. Click for a larger image.
Colorado Needs Sustainable, Affordable Housing!
Today, Colorado is facing a serious lack of affordable housing to address the needs of its citizens. Ownership of $200K+ homes is now beyond the reach of an increasing larger group of people, and rents are rising as the number of low-income housing units is dwindling… New multi-family or low cost single-family housing development efforts to address these issues in the region… has just not kept up with Demand. Instead, the number of homeless residents, in El Paso and Denver Counties continues to rise.
The Pikes Peak Continuum of Care has been formed to act as the lead organizing body locally for homeless providers and has made great strides in creating collaborative efforts; however our growing homeless population, including veterans, continues to have foundational housing needs in emergency, transitional and long term sustainable housing. PPCoC members recognize that increasing the inventory of safe, stable affordable housing can prevent homelessness for many households.
After the event was over, VSS and Ensemble followed-up with many of the 100+ organizations and represenatives that attended using a series of Summit Survey cards that were developed by Ensemble to identify opportunities and develop a more indepth working understanding of the housing needs in our local communities.
What became abundantly clear is the need for the development of three types of affordable, attainable and sustainable housing in these configurations:
- Emergency Housing
- Transitional Housing
- Long Term Sustainable Housing
And poll after poll conducted by the local newspapers have all indicated that the public WANTS SMALL FORM FACTOR HOUSING !
These summit results and findings from numerous research reports led Ensemble and VSS to conclude that it is time to develop a "Housing Pilot Project" in our community to address the major challenges facing the development of low-cost single family housing.