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DENVER–Joe Giron, who co-founded Brothers Redevelopment Inc. 33 years ago, retired from the non-profit group that is an advocate of affordable and accessible housing. Giron, 69, with three colleagues, founded BRI in 1971 to provide housing services for Denver’s Hispanic and low-income families.

Succeeding Giron as president and chief executive officer is BRI executive director Mary Ann Solano-Shing. “Being a part of Brothers Redevelopment has been a highlight of my life,” Giron says. “Every program we’ve created has helped people make a home–whether it was to help them own one, paint one or remodel one. I’m proud that we never turned anyone away.”

With more than $13 million in assets, nine residential properties and 42 employees throughout the metro area, Giron has helped Brothers Redevelopment grow into one of Colorado’s largest community development nonprofit organizations. BRI relies on corporate, civic and faith-based support, as well as volunteers, to minimize client repair costs.

An early Giron initiative, the Home Maintenance and Repair Program, has been used on more than 27,000 refurbishment projects since the agency’s inception. BRI also uses volunteers for its Paint-A-Thon. Now in its 27th year, the effort has painted the homes of more than 6,000 seniors statewide and has been replicated nationwide, in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and San Antonio.

The organization, through its Home Counseling Program, has assisted more than 17,000 first-time homebuyers. BRI also buys and remodels older homes, and sells them to low- and moderate-income families.

Giron plans to remain active in metro area housing issues. “It’s funny that even though more people are thinking about the topic, housing remains an issue,” Giron says. “I’ve still got a few ideas left to solve the problem.”

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