Mayor Johnston Announces Potential Short Term Housing Locations
Published on August 24, 2023
DENVER, CO- Mayor Mike Johnston today announced a preliminary list of potential sites(PDF, 97KB) for micro-community and hotel unit locations for persons experiencing homelessness. The mapped out(JPG, 934KB) sites, which will continue to be evaluated and vetted over the next couple weeks, provide a foundational step for the city’s initiative to bring 1,000 unsheltered residents inside by the end of the year while permanently closing encampments. Mayor Johnston and the Emergency Operations Center are in active conversations with private landowners, and this list will expand to include sites in every City Council District.
As the city continues to work with community partners to leverage existing permanent housing units and bring more hotel units online, micro-communities will allow the city to scale transitional housing options quickly and cost-effectively.
“These sites, in combination with hotels and leased units, puts us on a path to get 1,000 Denverites indoors,” said Mayor Mike Johnston. “It takes a community response to address our city’s homelessness crisis, and identifying this preliminary list of possible sites is a big step toward getting more people off the streets and on a path toward housing stability. We’re grateful to the many private landowners and public partners who have come forward to support this initiative, and I look forward to engaging with many more Denverites on how we all can be a part of the solution.”
The site list includes public land owned by either the City and County of Denver and other public partners like the Colorado Department of Transportation, as well as privately-owned sites offered by landowners that are available for use through a purchase or lease agreement. Sites will continue to be evaluated by the Emergency Operations Center on a number of criteria, including:
- Proximity to transit
- Access to utilities (electricity, water)
- Meets basic zoning and permitting criteria
- Meets basic environmental criteria
- Distance from schools
- Equitable distribution of sites across the city
In addition to the list of possible sites shared today, the Emergency Operations Center continues to search for additional site locations for consideration.
Since the Emergency Declaration on homelessness was initially established on July 18, Mayor Johnston has held 20 townhall meetings for residents to learn more about the initiative. Public meetings are being held across all Denver neighborhoods, and all future meetings will include an opportunity for residents to learn more about possible sites and what these micro-communities will look like. Townhalls are scheduled through this weekend in the Northeast Park Hill, Villa Park, Berkeley, Union Station, and Cherry Creek neighborhoods. To see a schedule of all upcoming townhall meetings, visit denvergov.org/house1000.
Other developments announced by Mayor Johnston today include:
- Denver is working to swiftly acquire 200 pallet shelters, community buildings and restrooms for up to three sites. A $7 million purchasing contract was approved by City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee earlier this week and will go to the full City Council for a vote on August 28.
- Two notable procurements supporting the emergency declaration are currently open. A request for proposals is underway to identify known and trusted partners to both provide the wraparound services and site management, including security. In addition, a manufactured sleeping units invitation to bid was issued on August 16. This procurement will identify tiny home manufacturers.
- The Denver Housing Authority just recently closed on its acquisition of the Best Western Central Park hotel at 4595 Quebec St., for conversion to permanent supportive housing. The site will be leased to the City for a nominal cost and put into an interim use this fall as non-congregate shelter.
- Denver City Council extended the homelessness State of Emergency declaration this past Monday. The declaration is in effect through September 18, 2023.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions(PDF, 222KB) for more information on the micro-community locations and details.