Metro West Housing Solutions has added 11 affordable developments in the city of Lakewood over the last 20 years. That makes 19 total for the affordable housing organization, according to CEO Tami Fischer.
At the 7th annual West Colfax Lately luncheon on Nov. 2, the West Colfax Community Association bestowed the Legacy award and some high praise onto Metro West. Metro West is well deserving of the award, according to Bill Marino, Chief Executive of the Lakewood-West Colfax BID, an event sponsor and a WCCA board member.
“Honorees of the Legacy Award are well-known and active members of the community who have had a significant, positive, long-term impact on the overall vitality and quality of life of the Lakewood-West Colfax community,” Marino said.
Fischer said the award was a much-needed show of support from the West Colfax community.
“It’s wonderful because we’re not always popular as affordable housing developers,” Fischer said. “So, to hear kindness, appreciation and gratitude for what we do, it’s awkward in some ways. But it’s very nice to be honored. And to recognize that so many people really do know the importance of affordable housing. We just don’t often hear from those people. So, (the award) is everything to me. It just gives us encouragement to keep going.”
According to Fischer, her work is critical to both Denver and Lakewood as both cities are navigating a nationwide housing crisis. The organization partners with both cities as needed.
“We do have properties between Denver and Lakewood. Along Sheridan, a few of our properties actually leak over into Denver, because they were for sale, and we wanted to keep them affordable. The Denver [Housing Authority] said, ‘Hey, Lakewood. Why don’t you do this?’”
Such cooperation to meet community needs is another reason why Metro West Housing received the Legacy Award. And, there are more projects slated to help relieve the affordable housing need in Lakewood and Denver.
“We also acquired Eiber Village Senior Apartments in 2023, adding another 50 apartments to our portfolio,” Fischer said. “And we’re not done. We own the land and have the funding thanks to Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to build another 44 apartments at Colfax and Youngfield with a groundbreaking slated for next year.”
Other businesses and business leaders honored at the West Colfax Lately Awards luncheon for their impact on the community included Don Calahan of Calahan Construction, Doug Elenowitz and Scott Watkins of TOD Properties and Liz Black of West Colfax Lately.
Outgoing mayor Adam Paul was the keynote speaker, with a brief and humorous spoken history of the West Colfax area. His speech was composed of city history, “according to what I found while cleaning out my office.” The WCCA awarded Paul a special West Colfax award that was a symbol of the arts and culture that Paul has cultivated over his tenure as mayor.
The entertainment for the luncheon, Chad Wonder, urged everyone to support the new 40 West Hub. It’s a new space for artists, particularly magicians like Wonder, who don’t have a designated space to perform.
Corrections: The Nov. 3 article stated Metro West Housing Solutions developed 7 properties in Lakewood in the past 20 years. They developed 11 properties, 7 along West Colfax. The story also quoted Tami Fischer as saying city of Denver, when it should read “Denver” in reference to Denver Housing Authority.