Boulder Housing Partners (BHP) took home two awards from last week’s Colorado and Mountain Plains Chapter of the National Association of Redevelopment and Housing Officials conference in Vail.
“We strive to be good stewards of public funding and innovative in our programming, and these two projects reflect that,” said Jeremy Durham, Executive Director of BHP.
The Community Resiliency Hub project won a Community Development Award. Following the 2013 floods in Boulder, BHP began investigating ways to become a more resilient organization and contribute to community resiliency initiatives. They partnered with the City of Boulder, Independent Power Systems and GRID Alternatives to install a state-of-the-art energy delivery infrastructure system at BHP’s administrative offices as part of a U.S. Department of Energy grant. The project involves a natural gas generator, a photovoltaic solar array and a battery storage system to allow BHP to be self-sufficient during an emergency when the grid is no longer supplying the energy needed to power the facility’s critical loads. This enables BHP to provide uninterrupted service to its 3,500 residents during an emergency or crisis. Their offices can also serve as a community emergency gathering place or a city outpost for emergency response services during power outages.
The Bringing School Home Early Childhood Program won a Resident Services Award. The program is designed to disrupt the cycle of poverty by ensuring that children from low-income families can achieve the same high academic performance as their peers from high-and middle-income, educated families. In 2013, only 38 percent of low income students in Boulder County pursued higher education compared to 69 percent of their more affluent peers. Bringing School Home supports children from cradle through career.
Early intervention during a child’s critical first five years of brain development is ideal, and BHP identifies very young at-risk children by partnering with the Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA). Once eligible families have moved into a BHP property, EFAA provides three months of case management and BHP continues with in-home visitations, parent groups, links to evidence-based programs and a community culture that values education and the key role parents play as their children’s first teachers. School-age children are enrolled with the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County to support them with classes and services through high school graduation and post-secondary school.
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