The Denver Foundation Receives HUD/USDA Secretaries' Award

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HUD, USDA, and Council on Foundations honor work of place-based foundations

Rebecca Arno (2nd from rt) receives the award on behalf of The Denver Foundation and Mile Hile High Connects from (l to r) Vikki Spruill, Council on Foundations; Kathy O’Regen, HUD; and Chris Beck, US

Through the Transit Oriented Development Fund, Mile High Connects has created a national model for public/private partnerships and is leading the way with innovative collaborative relationships dedicated to equitable transit and community development.

Across the nation, community foundations, private foundations, and corporate giving programs work to improve neighborhoods and the lives of the people who live in them. Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Council on Foundations announced the 2014 winners of the Secretaries’ Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

The Denver Foundation earned the award for their outstanding partnership with the public sector. The Foundation made significant improvements in housing and neighborhoods, transportation, sustainability, and economic development in urban communities in the Denver Region. The awards were presented at the Council on Foundations’ Fall Conference for Community Foundations in Cleveland on Wednesday morning, October 22nd.

“These foundations understand that strong communities connect families with the promise of living the American dream,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “Powerful outcomes occur when the philanthropic and public sectors come together to solve problems, enhance neighborhoods, and expand opportunity for others. I commend these honorees for their deep commitment to serving the common good.”

“USDA is proud to partner with foundations on worthy development projects that are improving the quality of life for rural residents and providing them with new economic opportunities,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “The work that foundations undertake often complements the work that our employees are carrying out at the local level. Congratulations to the foundations that have been recognized for their exceptional efforts in 2014.”

Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations, said: “I’m proud to offer my congratulations to the winning foundations. Their work serves as a model for others in the field. Philanthropy works across sectors to engage communities in meaningful development and productive action. I am grateful to Secretary Castro and Secretary Vilsack for their leadership in recognizing the impact of foundations across the country, I look forward to continuing our engagement with them in order to push for still greater collaboration.”

“We are excited and honored to be receiving this award,” said David Miller, president and CEO of The Denver Foundation. “Through the Transit Oriented Development Fund, Mile High Connects has created a national model for public/private partnerships and is leading the way with innovative collaborative relationships dedicated to equitable transit and community development.”

The Denver Transit Oriented Development Fund has been a true partnership from its inception and would not be possible without commitment, investment, and support from public, private, and philanthropic organizations. Initially closed in 2010, the Fund is a combination of $13.5 million in loan capital from the City & County of Denver, Enterprise Community Partners, the MacArthur Foundation, the Rose Community Foundation, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, First Bank, the Mile High Community Loan Fund, and Enterprise Community Loan Fund that, when blended together, provides favorable acquisition financing terms that allow the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) as sole borrower and equity investor, to acquire land and improved property in proximity to public transportation access in the City and County of Denver.

The Secretaries’ Awards were given to place-based funders for completed or ongoing initiatives that are executed in partnership with a local, regional, or federal government agency.

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HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available at http://www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s Email List.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).

An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (http://www.cof.org), founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally.

The Denver Foundation is a community foundation that inspires people and mobilizes resources to improve life in Metro Denver. In 2013, the Foundation and its donors awarded more than $50 million in grants. The Denver Foundation has three roles: stewarding an endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver, working with community leaders to address the core challenges that face the community, and managing more than 1,000 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit http://www.denverfoundation.org.

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