How We Do Our Work

ULC uses a unique community land trust approach to accomplish the following:

An aerial photo of Thriftway Pocket Park in Westwood

Acquire Property

We acquire properties in the metro Denver area and throughout the Front Range using dedicated low-interest funding sources. We also accept donated property. See our Property Portfolio.

two happy residents of walnut flats, sitting on a couch with dogs in their laps

Create Affordability

We hold land in our community land trust under 99-year land leases to ensure permanent affordability and to preserve property for optimal community benefit.

A group of people stand outside St Elizabeth's School on Mosaic Community Campus on a bright, sunny day

Build Partnerships

We work with a wide array of community development partners to provide needed community assets such as schools, affordable housing, community centers and nonprofit facility spaces.

ULC recognizes that creating affordable space alone is not enough. This is why we focus on the development of permanently affordable space, ranging from early childhood education centers to multifamily affordable housing developments, through community land trusts. ULC’s unique community land trust means we own the land under a 99-year land lease to ensure the space is used for community benefit regardless of circumstance.

Learn more about ULC’s community land trust.

Dedicated Low-Interest Funding Sources

Proven History & Experience

ULC has a solid track record of creating, leveraging and paying back revolving loan funds for affordable land investments. ULC’s investments through the $15 million Denver Regional Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Fund and the $10 million Calvert Facility Fund resulted in 12 acquisitions that preserved and created hundreds of units of affordable rental housing and hundreds of thousands of square feet of affordable commercial space throughout metro Denver. Learn about technical assistance for your organization.

Metro Denver Impact Facility (MDIF)

The Metro Denver Impact Facility (MDIF) is the financial cornerstone for ULC’s successful real estate acquisitions.

Launched in 2018 in partnership with FirstBank, MDIF’s focus is to combat the real estate affordability crisis in the Denver region. This revolving source of low-cost, patient loan capital, with ULC as the sole borrower, has grown to $75 million to support ULC’s creation and preservation of permanently affordable housing, nonprofit facilities, schools, and community-serving spaces across Metro Denver. 

Learn more about MDIF and the many properties ULC has invested in with MDIF.

Grants & Government Funding

ULC also pursues grant funding from philanthropic organizations, and grants and loans from state and local government agencies. 

For example, grant funding was important in the purchase of the Mosaic Community Campus. Philanthropic organizations that made grants to ULC included the Anschutz Foundation, Gary Community Ventures and Gates Family Foundation.

There are also often government grant and loan programs that support ULC’s work. Since 2020, the State of Colorado and local governments have had a substantial amount of federal dollars they are responsible for distributing in addition to their own dollars. ULC developments that have benefitted from these dollars include Mosaic Community Campus, the future Cole Train development in Denver’s Cole neighborhood, and the Social Enterprise Foundry in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood where they were used to install a solar array.

Denver Regional TOD Fund

ULC, Enterprise Community Partners, and the City and County of Denver partnered to establish the nation’s first Transit Oriented Development Fund. The revolving loan fund makes capital available to acquire and hold land for the development or preservation of affordable housing for up to five years along current and proposed transit corridors. ULC made the initial equity commitment of $1.5 million to the TOD Fund and led real estate acquisition, management, and disposition of the assets at the Fund’s onset. ULC has invested in eight properties through the TOD fund.

Calvert Facility Fund

Under the name Ours to Own, the Calvert Impact Fund focused on preserving real estate in urban centers for schools, community spaces, and affordable commercial space for nonprofits. $5.1 million was raised from hundreds of individual investors in the Denver region in the first two years of Ours to Own. In addition to small individual investments, the Fund received investment from the Piton Foundation, Gary Community Investments, Colorado Health Foundation, The Colorado Trust, and The Denver Foundation. In 2014, ULC partnered with Calvert Impact Capital to deploy $10 million of the low-interest source of capital fund towards the purchase of three real-estate assets that support over 20 nonprofit organizations.