On June 21, 1966 the Boulder City Council passed a resolution declaring the need for a Public Housing Authority. The resolution came after several years of study by the City and numerous community and religious organizations. Before the end of the year, the first Housing Authority Commissioners had been sworn in and the task of supplying affordable, high-quality housing to those in need had begun.
The early years of the Housing Authority of the City of Boulder (HACB) were an exciting time. Led by the first Executive Director, John Hooyer, and a committed Board of Commissioners, the Housing Authority had a vision of integrating public housing into the community by building units that would become part of a neighborhood, not a neighborhood in itself.
Between 1970 and 1979, nearly 450 units were constructed or acquired by Housing Authority City of Boulder (HACB ) or provided by the Section 8 rental assistance program and administered by HACB.
In addition to the new units, there was a strong commitment to the residents, which led to the creation of the Tenant Services Program and the Resident Representative Council. The Tenant Services Program created a network of services and activities to assist low-income residents. The Resident Representative Council was founded to provide residents with a means of interaction with the Housing Authority and a greater stake in the improvement of their own communities.
The 1980s were a time of transition for HACB. As federal assistance became scarcer, new sources of funding had to be developed. This led to a new kind of innovation and partnership with other public agencies and the private sector. These new relationships led to a number of developments such as Bridgewalk, a public/private partnership that created 123 affordable and market rate units, and Sage Court, a 19-unit development for disabled residents built in partnership with the Center for People with Disabilities.
In the 1990s, there was a continuation of innovation and partnership throughout the community, as well as a significant increase in management capabilities and strategic planning. Programs emphasizing self-sufficiency and home ownership through sweat equity have increased in importance due to changing economic and political environments. Since 1990, BHP developed 223 new units, acquired 100 existing units and converted a mobile home park to the 59 unit Red Oak Park.
The distinguishing features between our work and that of the private sector are many: we are committed to providing housing to the lowest income members of our community; we are committed to fostering a healthy sense of community in every property we develop or manage; and we are committed to the permanence of the affordability we provide.
As the real estate economy becomes more challenging in Boulder, we find that our success rarely comes from a heroic individual effort, but instead from the slow and careful nurturing of many successful partner relationships. As a tribute to that value, in 2001 we chose to begin the next chapter of our work with a new name – Boulder Housing Partners.