Mayor’s 2022 Budget approved, American Rescue Plan funding advances

Published on November 08, 2021

City Council tonight approved Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s 2022 Budget, a key component of the Hancock Administration’s long-term financial plan to build an even more sustainable and inclusive economy and leverage multiple financial tools to accelerate the city’s recovery. City Council also approved the Mayor’s proposal to invest American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to provide additional relief for those businesses, workers and communities that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. 

“I want to thank City Council for their votes tonight approving critical parts of our recovery plan, as well as the collaboration we had throughout this year’s budget process advancing shared priorities,” Mayor Hancock said. “As our recovery from the public health and economic crisis caused by the global pandemic moves forward, these investments will not only restore services that were scaled back due to COVID, they will help our residents economically, support our neighborhoods and advance an economy that works for everyone.”

The 2022 budget, combined with investments from the city’s allocation of American Rescue Plan funds, supports Denver’s economic recovery by investing in our people through increased access to food and childcare and to address the digital divide. It invests in programs to support our non-profits, cultural programs and neighborhoods. The 2022 financial package leverages a variety of funds to double our affordable housing efforts, build on our successful social impact bond model and resolve homelessness for hundreds more of our unhoused neighbors. To keep Denver safe, the budget makes strategic, community-based public safety investments into improved policing and targeted crime prevention. Key budget investments include:

  • More than $200 million in capital infrastructure funding for transportation and mobility, parks and recreation, and city facilities;
  • $190 million from the General Fund, dedicated funds and ARPA, plus another $39 million from the voter-approved RISE Denver bond package to continue priority investments in affordable housing and homelessness resolution;
  • $5.7 million in marijuana tax revenue to establish a new business development program to improve funding access to small and minority- and women-owned businesses throughout the economy, including those looking to break into the marijuana industry;
  • $13.6 million to hire new first responders at the Denver Police, Sheriff and Fire departments and 911 call-takers to restore our safety workforce after historic attrition; and
  • $24.7 million from the Climate Protection Fund to support increased access to cooling and green space, improve infrastructure and reduce vulnerability to flooding, specifically in disproportionately impacted communities; expand the EV carshare in underserved communities and fund EV charging stations, e-bikes for essential workers, e-cargo bikes to reduce reliance on fossil-fueled vehicles, micro transit and other neighborhood-based transportation electrification programs; projects such as solar carports and subsidized community solar subscriptions for low-income households, while also providing solar power to the public-serving facilities where they are located; and building a climate action workforce.

In addition to the passage of the 2022 budget, City Council also approved the allocation of $100 million in ARPA funding. With tonight’s approval, the city will advance $73.2 million for community and business recovery programs including investments into affordable housing, shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness, business recovery, and community needs like childcare, digital equity, and mental and behavioral health support:

  • $50 million for housing stability and homelessness resolution including:
    • $28 million to nearly double the Affordable Housing Fund
    • $7.7 million for Life/Safety improvements at recreation centers to allow them to serve as emergency shelters when demand is high, and to support 24-hour shelter resiliency renovations
    • $4.3 million for alternatives to shelter, such as safe outdoor spaces and tiny home villages
    • $2 million for rehousing programs
    • $1.5 million for housing stability programs
  • $13 million for community recovery investments including:
    • $2 million in neighborhood activation grants
    • $1.8 million for Youth and Out of School Time
    • $1.5 million in community safety grants
    • $1.4 million for childcare
    • $1.2 million to support arts & cultural institutions
    • $1.1 million for digital equity
    • $1 million for emergency food access
    • $250,000 for a nonprofit loan fund
    • $35,000 for financial equity study
  • $10 million for business recovery investments including:
    • $5 million for Business Impact Opportunity (BIO) Grants
    • $2.5 million to support recovery in downtown Denver
    • $2 million to support entrepreneurship
    • $600,000 for small business outreach/technical assistance

In addition to the $73 million for community and business recovery, the city will also allocate $25 million to continue programs and services restored with ARPA funds in 2021 and will reallocate $1.3 million to hire external federal funding experts to ensure the city is fully leveraging its allocation in ARPA funding.

The city will receive a total of $308 million in American Rescue Plan Act in two installments. The first installment of $154 million was received in July 2021. From that first installment, City Council approved $46 million to restore services, begin hiring 270 positions and end furloughs.

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