ADU Program Provides Housing Affordability, Flexibility, and Stability in Metro Denver

Habitat and partners build and finance ADUs to support both homeowners and renters

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is proud to be the construction partner for the West Denver Single Family Plus ADU Pilot Program. The program helps existing homeowners to plan, price, design, finance, and build an ADU on their residential property, and then rent the ADU affordably. 

In 2019, the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative (WDRC) launched the WDSF+ ADU pilot program in collaboration with the Denver Housing Authority (DHA) and a robust network of partners. Habitat Metro Denver acts as the designer and builder in the partnership.  

ADUs are one way that Habitat and its partners can provide additional affordable units in our competitive market and prevent overcrowding and instability for existing homeowners.

Photo above: Colorado Governor Jared Polis visited the home of ADU homeowner, Yoseph, in fall of 2023 to learn more about the program benefits.​ 

How does the program work?

  • Meeting a need in specific neighborhoods: Habitat Metro Denver, alongside the other program partners, currently focuses its ADU construction in nine west Denver neighborhoods that are impacted by gentrification and residential destabilization, and in which construction of ADUs is already allowed. 
  • Find homeowners: West Denver Renaissance Collaborative finds and qualifies homeowners in West Denver who live in these areas that are zoned for ADUs, have a large enough lot to accommodate an ADU, and have interest in the program.   
  • Ensure site infrastructure: Habitat Metro Denver collaborates with partners to ensure each lot can accommodate the infrastructure needed for an ADU (i.e. water, power, sewer).  
  • Construct the ADU: Habitat Metro Denver builds the ADUs, using seven low-cost ADU designs that have been approved by city building regulators and can be used by anyone in the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative program, saving architecture and some permitting fees. Habitat Metro Denver and The American Institute of Architects designed the floor plans, which range in size from a studio to a three-bedroom ADU. Habitat Metro Denver uses a hybrid-modular construction approach.    
  • Provide financial support: West Denver Renaissance Collaborative and other partners support homeowners with financial counseling and support to fund their ADU project. Other local lenders are also helping to innovate ADU financing. 

How does the program benefit the Denver community?

  • Provides homes that are affordable for low- to moderate- income (LMI) families  
  • Creates additional, affordable housing units within existing residential lots. 
  • Provides an option for longtime homeowners to house extended family members, providing stability for homeowners and allowing older residents to age in place.   
  • Generating supplementary income for homeowners that helps them cover unexpected housing expenses and pay property taxes, which can be challenging for those living on limited incomes. 
  • Provides housing security for both the homeowner and the renter.  
  • Preserves existing homes and adds affordable units consistent with neighborhood character. 

We need ongoing funding and support from local municipalities and partners in order to build ADUs affordably and make them affordable for the homeowners who want to build ADUs on their land.

Thank you to these partners for their work on the ADU Pilot Program

Contact Our Team

Colleen Mentz

Director of New Construction

Daniel Merkt-Blatz

Construction Project Manager, ADU Program