Access to housing a family can afford is critical for family stability, as well as for our city’s overall success in ensuring we have the workforce we need to keep our economy strong and for the diversity we all love about living in the city. I’ve been an affordable housing champion, working with the community to pass some of the most impactful policies. Denver has to fight this crisis.
Affordable Housing for All Without Displacement:
I have been a champion for affordable housing for almost fifteen years, and have a bold record of accomplishments that are allowing Denver to assist thousands of seniors, families and low-wage workers for generations to come.
Cities like Denver that need more housing can’t simply build our way out of this housing crisis, but we can’t meet the needs we have and prepare for the future if we don’t build more housing families can really afford. Yet it matters a lot how we build new housing. We must ensure Denver’s communities have a voice in change, and that areas of opportunity with good schools, access to transit and other amenities are available to residents of all backgrounds. We must ensure communities are prepared and that Denver takes steps to prevent displacement before public or major private investments are made in areas experiencing gentrification. And we can’t rely on building housing alone, we have to adopt the strongest policies we can to keep people in their homes.
My accomplishments include:
- Fighting to make sure major redevelopments ranging from the old St. Anthony’s to the old Gates Rubber Factory and the Denver Union Station area include affordable housing before receiving any city subsidies
- Working collaboratively to pass the first-ever fee on development and a dedicated property tax to build or preserve at least 6,000 new units and provide housing assistance to thousands of additional households
- Bringing together eleven Council colleagues to fund Denver’s first-ever eviction defense fund to help keep renters from losing their housing or from draconian legal outcomes that prevent them from getting new housing in the future
- Advocating strongly for inclusion of permanent housing and supportive services to house more homeless households in Denver’s overall approach to affordable housing
I continue to be a leading expert on affordable housing locally and nationally, holding Denver accountable for how it spends new funds and leading new initiatives in partnership with Council colleagues and community stakeholders. This year I am tackling renter protections and improvements to Denver’s property tax rebate to help homeowners avoid displacement due to property tax burdens. And if re-elected, I seek to build on this work with new innovations, including looking at ways to lower the cost of producing affordable housing.
Here are some more details on the programs underway to tackle these issues:
Keep People in Their Homes:
The Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance helps resident with short term needs.
Here is information about the new pilot program that provides legal help in the case of unfair evictions. This powerful new initiative will reduce evictions and keep people in stable housing, and even when lawyers cannot keep tenants in their current home, the program can help to lower barriers to finding new housing.
Denver is participating in “An Assessment of Fair Housing”. This program commits us to take meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination. For the first time, Denver is working collaboratively with others in our region to think about these challenges within and beyond our own borders. I recently wrote on the issue of gentrification and displacement.
Reduce Chronic Homelessness:
In October 2017, partners of Denver’s first-ever Social Impact Bond (SIB) to provide chronically homeless individuals with permanent housing and supportive services released the results of the first independent evaluation done by the Urban Institute. The report concluded that the program has been successful in its first year. To date, more than 200 homeless individuals have been housed, and the vast majority of these individuals are still stable in their housing after one year.