Bentley Commons’ expansion is expected to help boost affordable housing in the Southeast.
The project at 2730 Bentley Point, about five minutes from Sierra High School, is set to take the apartment complex from 24 units to 192.
Construction on the nearly $60 million project will start early this year, with completion expected by late 2024.
“The Bentley Commons project is the best of our three local nonprofits [Greccio Housing, Partners in Housing and Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust] coming together for a common interest of providing affordable housing,” says Lee Patke, executive director at Greccio Housing. “This is a great example of what you can do when you have long-term housing developers who are working together in the community.”
In late October 2022, GPR Partners, which includes the trio of nonprofits, applied for State Affordable Housing Tax Credits through the Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA). The following month, Greccio Housing announced GPR Partners had received the tax credits for the expansion.
The additional 168 apartments will bring Bentley Commons to a total of 60 one-bedroom units, 105 two-bedroom units and 27 three-bedroom units.
Patke says GPR Partners’ goal is to ensure Southeast residents can find affordable housing without needing to relocate.
A November news release from Greccio Housing says GPR and Bentley Commons “will continue to serve individuals and families earning up to 60 percent of area median income (AMI).”
“This process is setting aside affordable housing for people making 80 percent less than the area median income,” Patke says. “Then you charge them no more than, roughly, a third of their income for rent. This way they can still afford other necessities.”
In 2022, one person making $38,700 per year (60 percent AMI) and living in a one-bedroom apartment, would pay no more than $1,036. Two people making $44,220 (60 percent AMI) would pay $1,243 for a two-bedroom apartment.
As of Jan. 16, CHFA has not released income limit and maximum rents for 2023. CHFA’s maximum rents and income limits list for El Paso County was last updated June 3, 2022.
Bentley Commons’ new apartments will feature 27 units at 30 percent AMI, 19 at 40 percent, 102 at 50 percent and 44 units at 60 percent.
This means one person making $19,350 per year and living in a 30-percent AMI unit would pay $518 toward rent.
Patke says CHFA provides another incentive for potential renters.
“If someone has to pay electricity and [water], there’s a utility allowance and that’s $120,” Patke says. “If that $120 is prescribed by CHFA, then you’d take that $120 off their rent. So the max [rent] charged would be lower.”
Patke says the expansion of Bentley Commons is great for Southeast residents. “We’re excited about this expansion and what this means to the area,” he says. “We’re trying to help the community as best as possible and we believe this expansion of Bentley Commons is a great start to the bigger picture of what we’re working on.”