2018 ANNUAL REPORT

CHAMPIONING A NEW MODEL

Unison Housing Partners is disrupting generational poverty through socially conscious community development in Adams County.

As a progressive housing authority, Unison is committed to addressing the systemic injustice that is the root of poverty. We do this by creating a pipeline of high-quality affordable housing, facilitating community building to impact change, and focusing on individual strengths so members can create the life they aspire to live.

INTRODUCTION

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2018 was a year of introspection for Unison. We settled into our new name and brand and looked internally at our team and our methods. We asked hard questions of ourselves, leading us to rethink our culture and our core beliefs as a progressive Housing Authority dedicated to disrupting generational poverty through socially conscious community development. We are proud of how far we have come as housers inspired by a set of core beliefs that guide our every interaction with each other, with our members and with the communities we help to strengthen. As an organization we are committed to providing housers with a work environment that promotes health and well being and where we all have a seat at the table. As we charge forward in our mission, we will continue to evolve and strengthen our culture, successfully shifting the housing paradigm to one that is member-focused and member-driven.

› PETER LIFARI › Executive Director
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The efforts of the Unison team in 2018 resulted in impressive accomplishments for a Housing Authority. Collaboration was key over the last year as Unison explored new partnerships with North Metro Community Services and Adams County. Through these multifaceted relationships we are able to expand our reach and ultimately provide more homes to more Adams County residents. We will continue to explore new opportunities for collaboration that will further Unison’s ability to implement socially conscious community development.

› Paul Franke › Chair, Unison Board of Commissioners

UNISON PROGRAMS BY THE NUMBERS

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owned and managed communities
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members, including dependents, are housed at Unison-owned and managed communities
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participants worked with Unison staff to identify goals and work towards them through the family self sufficiency program
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distributed through TANF grant to ensure residents live in stable housing
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Housing Choice Vouchers provide homes for 3,924* family members including:
  • Veterans, the elderly, people with disabilities, and families being reunited with their children
  • 41.5% of voucher-holders are seniors or people with disabilities

*Figures are an annual approximation

2018 marked a banner year for Unison as we not only reevaluated our internal culture, but the ways in which we interact with those we serve – our members. The creation of our new department – Family & Community Vitality – allows Unison Housers to invest in the individual and collective power of our members so they can create the lives they aspire to live. This department is built on a community organizing model, where members create the change they want to see with the support of our team of community organizers and resource navigators.

  • From January of 2018 to December of 2018 there was a 7.63% increase in HCV lease-up, equaling approximately 100 additional individuals who received access to housing.
  • Through a new partnership with North Metro Community Services, 14 nonelderly individuals living with disabilities were connected to Unison-administered vouchers while maintaining case management support through North Metro.

In 2018, Unison applied for federal and state tax credits from the Colorado Housing and Financing Authority (CHFA) to develop a new multifamily, mixed-income affordable housing project in unincorporated Adams County. The vision for this project is to convert a 46,000-square-foot office building into 44 apartment units, with an additional 72 walk-up units alongside it. One of the most unique aspects of this development is that 12 of the 116 homes will be reserved for youth transitioning out of the foster care system – furthering Unison’s commitment to develop socially conscious communities, and increase access and opportunity for at-risk populations. Should the tax credits be awarded, Unison will partner with Adams County Children and Family Services to provide case management and support services.

“This project will shape the future of a changing Adams County and take a measurable step toward reducing the housing affordability gap.”
– Eva J. Henry, Commissioner for Adams County District 1
  • In May of 2018, Unison opened Alto – a 70-unit mixed-used, a°ordable healthy housing environment, with the majority of the homes open to households earning 50 percent of the area median income. Alto has become Unison’s flagship property, also housing the new Unison offices. Alto community members have access to Unison’s Family & Community Vitality programs and services, including our partnership with Growing Home and connections to other vital resources.
  • In 2018, the Casa Redonda clubhouse and o˝ce were remodeled, providing members with a new location for community gatherings and celebrations.
  • Creekside Place was the recipient of several play structures as a result of a partnership with KABOOM. This philanthropic initiative paired more than 100 community volunteers, including Unison Housers, to build safe and creative play structures for Creekside Place families.

2018 RECOGNITION

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In March of 2018, long-time Unison director Don May retired from his post after 26 years of passionate leadership and unprecedented dedication to the affordable housing arena. Over the last two-plus decades, May helped to grow Unison from 132 units of affordable housing, to more than 2,700 units at the time of his retirement (with over 1,400 of these units owned and/or managed by Unison). May’s vision and entrepreneurial spirit also helped shape Unison’s culture in instrumental ways, including the founding of our nonprofit entity, Low Income Family Empowerment (LIFE). May is a true leader in the affordable housing arena, having helped to address various challenges our community has faced over the years with innovation and creativity.

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For ten years Craig Carlson has dedicated his time and talent to Unison as a member of our Board of Commissioners and our Development Committee. During his tenure with Unison our organization and our development portfolio grew exponentially, much in part to his sound advice and support. A preeminent developer in his own right, Craig has personally contributed to the economic vitality of Adams County through his work, and also his service. As he ends his time on our Board following three consecutive terms, we thank him for his creativity, expertise and dedication. And we look forward to his continued engagement in the future as a member of our Development Committee.

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  • In August 2018, Energy Outreach Colorado granted Unison Housing $63,000 to support our Rent and Utility Assistance program, directly benefiting 125 limited-income Adams County households. A private nonprofit corporation, Energy Outreach Colorado helps pay the home energy bills for thousands of limited-income Colorado seniors, families with children and individuals with special needs. They have a core belief that everyone deserves affordable access to the vital resources that power their homes – a value very much in line with Unison’s core belief that everyone deserves a home.
  • In 2018, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded Unison Housing Partners 14 new vouchers for disabled low-income Adams County residents. The vouchers were awarded through HUD’s 811 Mainstream Voucher Program, and their cash value is $158,000 in annual budget authority for Unison. These funds will ensure that low-income disabled residents, a population which encounters immense barriers to obtaining affordable housing, may continue to have access to affordable, quality homes in Adams County. To facilitate delivery of the vouchers, Unison has partnered with North Metro Community Services for referrals. North Metro Community Services provides strong advocacy for people with developmental disabilities and are committed to the protection of human rights, respectful relationships and individualized care.

Learn More

Download the complete 2018 Annual Report to learn more — including full details on revenue, expenses, total assets and liabilities.