Can Affordable Housing Be Eco-Friendly, Too?

Eco-friendly, affordable housing. That might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s exactly what is in the works just east of downtown Denver. KTGY Group Architecture+Planning has announced construction of the Bluff Lake Apartments, a residential community of 92 high-quality, eco-friendly units. The project is a partnership between the architects, affordable housing developer Mercy House and the city of Denver.

The apartments are slated for families who are earning between 30 percent and 50 percent of the area median income and are expected to be completed in the spring of 2012. The apartment’s green features include Energy Star appliances, energy-efficient lighting and water-saving fixtures. In addition, low volatile organic compound paints, adhesives and finishes are being used inside and much of the construction waste will be recycled.

affordable Denver housing

image via KTGY Group

“Oftentimes, when residents hear the words ‘affordable housing,’ they immediately envision substandard housing and an owner that doesn’t care about the property or its residents or neighbors. This is certainly not the case with Mercy Housing,” said KTGY Principal Michael Ohara, the designer of Bluff Lake Apartment Homes.

The project is the second affordable housing development in the Stapleton, Colo., area. In 2005, Mercy Housing opened Parkside Apartments in Stapleton, which provides 68 affordable homes. The organization currently owns and manages over 16,000 units of housing nationwide. including the Denver area, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Fraser and Durango.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.