DRCOG Honors City of Arvada

The City of Arvada received a 2018 Metro Vision Award from the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) for its Safe and Accessible Arvada program. The award was presented at DRCOG’s annual awards celebration on April 25.

The City of Arvada forged a collaboration with Brothers Redevelopment to address residential livability and accessibility for low- and fixed-income households. The community was especially concerned with helping residents age in place. Together, the two visionary entities created Safe and Accessible Arvada to help residents make modifications to remain safely and comfortably in their homes.

With a rapidly growing aging population, Arvada has long embraced innovative approaches to meeting the needs of older residents. Previously the city adopted an ordinance requiring home builders to include visitability features in a certain percentage of homes to make them more accessible. Unfortunately, most home builders opted out by paying a fee rather than building the much-needed accessible units. The city recognized the need to pivot, and changed its approach.

To help residents age-in-place and remain active in their communities, Safe and Accessible Arvada offers residents affordable home modifications. Funded through opt-out fees collected under the previous ordinance, the program offers residents home safety features such as tub-to-shower conversions, wheelchair ramps and doorway widening.

“Our aging population is growing at a rate this region has never experienced before,” said Douglas Rex, executive director for DRCOG. “Programs such as Safe and Accessible Arvada are leading the way by taking an innovative approach to support aging residents, keeping them safely in their homes and communities.”

Safe Accessible Arvada just completed its first year, making more than $75,000 worth of home modifications.

DRCOG’s Metro Vision Award program recognizes exemplary projects, plans and initiatives that significantly improve the quality of life in the Denver region and its communities. The regional council has been honoring outstanding achievements for more than 30 years.