The facility will produce much needed affordable housing for Boulder Valley residents and workers while providing workforce training for BVSD students.
The City of Boulder, Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) and Flatirons Habitat for Humanity (FHFH) are pleased to announce that construction of the Affordable Housing Modular Factory will begin in August.
The Affordable Housing Modular Factory has the capacity to build up to 50 modular homes each year to help achieve city and regional housing goals; in the first years, the factory is expected to produce 12 to 15 homes per year.
The city will provide funding to construct the factory and purchase necessary equipment, FHFH will manage and staff the facility, and BVSD will provide land for the factory. Students of the Technical Education Center (TEC) Construction program will get a hands-on learning experience.
“We are excited about this partnership and the opportunity it will provide for students to gain valuable construction skills and authentic, real-world experience building homes that will make a difference in the lives of people in their local community,” said BVSD superintendent, Rob Anderson.
Modular homes provide many benefits including the ability to produce more homes in less time, at lower cost, with minimized community disruption and with less material waste. Homes produced through the Affordable Housing Modular Factory partnership will be high quality and highly efficient, bringing residents comfort without high energy costs. The homes will be permanently affordable to low-, moderate-, and middle-income households.
The first homes the factory produces will be used to upgrade residences at a mobile home park in North Boulder as part of the Ponderosa Community Stabilization Project. The factory is earmarked to build up to 73 new homes for Ponderosa residents in its first years.
“Flatirons Habitat is excited to partner in this project to build high-quality, energy-efficient homes for the Ponderosa community,” said Susan Lythgoe Vasquez, executive director of Flatirons Habitat for Humanity. “The efficiencies brought by modular construction will enable us to bring more homes to the Ponderosa community more quickly and with less disruption than if we were to build traditionally.”
The modular homes will be highly efficient, all-electric and powered by solar energy, allowing more people to benefit from an increasingly renewable, clean local energy system. This will also help residents be more resilient to climate change and volatile utility costs. The factory itself will also reflect the city’s and school district’s commitments to addressing climate change. It will run on electric power from rooftop solar and will repurpose salvaged steel from the Alpine Balsam project.
The city has been awarded $4.3 million to support the construction the Affordable Housing Modular Factory. The funds come from three separate sources: $2.3 million from Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs; $1.5 million from the Colorado Health Foundation; and $506,000 from the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill thanks to the support of Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper.
“The City of Boulder is one of only a handful of projects funded in the Boulder area through this appropriations bill, and we are deeply grateful for the support of Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper for prioritizing a project that will be transformative for the Ponderosa community and help Boulder reach its affordable housing and climate goals,” shared Mayor Aaron Brockett.
In December 2022, Boulder City Council unanimously approved the annexation of 6500 Arapahoe Ave., the future home of the Affordable Housing Modular Factory. Earlier this year, a noise study was conducted, and engineers do not expect noise generated inside the building to be audible at the nearest residential property. The factory is scheduled to be completed in early 2024 and the production of modular homes will begin at that time.
To learn more about the Affordable Housing Modular Factory visit the city’s website.