A Note From the Executive Director, Lee Patke
Hello Friends of Greccio! This is our very first quarterly newsletter and update designed just for you – our donors, nonprofit and business partners, Board and Emeritus member, and supporters. You may see news through social media or direct contact, but may not always know the ‘big picture’ news and events that are the basis of success as an agency, overall. We hope this provides you with insight and confidence that honors your support.
Property Development: Looking Ahead
In addition to all the great programs and resident impact you’ll read in this newsletter, watch our next quarterly issue when we’ll provide a deeper look into how our portfolio of affordable housing is growing to meet a faster-growing demand. The importance and urgency of our mission is greater than ever. Until then, here’s a snapshot: • Village at Solid Rock – a new 77-unit family property is due to open in early fall. A partnership between Solid Rock CDC and Commonwealth Development, Greccio is proud to have been selected as its property manager and resident resource provider! • Bentley Commons – a 192-unit family and veteran property is due to ‘close’ on financing and break ground this summer! With partners, Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust and Partners in Housing, the additional 168 units on that property will make be a huge impact for families in southeast Colorado Springs. • Sunrise at Shiloh Mesa – a proposed 50-unit senior property in northeast Colorado Springs. Under consideration for LIHTC funding currently, we hope to announce a funding award soon. • Preservation Initiative – a $3.6mm effort to update and upgrade 16 properties to preserve affordable units. Many of these properties, between 20 -120 years old, were hard-earned and developed by Greccio over 30 years, and it’s our intention to preserve them for the next 30!
Artist rendering of Village at Solid Rock
The Latest from Leasing
During Greccio Housings' first quarter of 2023, our overall occupancy rate for our entire portfolio of owned and managed properties was consistently high, with January 2023 recording a rate of 97.6%, followed by February with 97.4%, and March with 97.6%. From January to April, we had 43 move-ins, including 13 families and 10 seniors aged 62 and older, which contributed to the high occupancy rates. All new move-ins received a Welcome Home bag filled with dish soap, toilet paper, and other home care essentials.
Greccio Goals: The Move Towards Energy Efficiency
Some exciting updates: At Plaza on Platte, we just completed a weatherization project with Energy Outreach Colorado which included the replacements of two boilers, new LED lighting, and a significant upgrade to the attic insulation in the single-story building.
We have begun the process for the next round of work with Energy Outreach Colorado, evaluating possible upgrades at the Pines Apartments. While still in the initial stages, we are hoping to complete similar work as Plaza on Platte but also include the replacement of existing furnaces with new, more efficient units that also include air conditioning.
Essential Food Security Partnerships
Greccio Housing provides a No-Cost Food Pantry and opens up to a line of residents who know that they can rely on us to help supplement their food cost burdens by filling up a box with fresh produce, a variety of proteins like chicken and beef, eggs, non-perishables, and a few hygiene essentials. This is a resource that a lot of our residents depend on and friendships have been formed at Plaza on Platte clubhouse where the Pantry takes place. Our employees and volunteers who work the Pantry have come to know all the residents on a first-name basis and a greater sense of trust has been formed between them. The No-Cost Food Pantry, would not be possible without the generous help of our partners, Food to Power and Care and Share. Through Food to Power, we are able to receive weekly donations of fresh produce from Trader Joe’s and Sprouts. Care and Share also facilitate partnerships with Maverick, who gives us donations of frozen pre-made meals. We also have weekly donations from GoPuff who gives us essential items and snack foods that come in handy. Our strong partnership with Care and Share has also allowed us access to their Mobile Market. The Care and Share truck parks in the front lot of the Atrium at Austin Bluffs, our property for residents age 62 and older, and is open to everyone, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. The Mobile Market has seen a significant increase in the number of people served at this property from our residents and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Eviction Prevention Success Story
Kari has been a resident of Greccio Housing since September 2018. She’s had a good job as a Life Skills Trainer helping people transition out of care facilities and reteaching them the everyday tasks most of us take for granted. She has a little terrier named Max who she adores. Kari’s health took a bad turn. Suddenly, very overwhelmed with doctors’ visits, appointments with specialists, and life-saving medical procedures, Kari needed a little help. One of Greccio’s Resource Navigators, Jacqueline, assisted Kari with an application for the Eviction Prevention Program. Kari recalls Jacqueline telling her “We got you covered” and feeling like she got a complete weight off her shoulders. Kari still has a long road full of physical and occupational therapy ahead of her, being able to take the time off work to seek these treatments without worrying about rent has given her the time needed to get better. Greccio is able to provide the Eviction Protection Program thanks in large part to the Community Development Block Grant, the El Paso County Community investment grant, Pikes Peak United Way, USAA, and several other grants throughout the year. The Eviction Prevention Program is overseen by Greccio's Resident Resources team and is for residents experiencing a one-time life crisis. This program is an essential part of continuing to provide stable housing. Since 2020, Greccio has provided EPP assistance to over 250 households.
There is much more to come – stay tuned! In the meantime, thank you for your interest and commitment in supporting Greccio, as we serve our community through safe, stable, and affordable housing.