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Denver to Deploy $20 Million in Emergency Relief Funding Support to Community

City to use federal CARES Act funds to support residents, businesses impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

DENVER –  The City and County of Denver will inject an initial emergency allotment of $20 million in federal funds to support residents and businesses struggling with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are the city’s first deployment of the approximately $126.8 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) dollars received to address expenses related to COVID-19 and to support needs of the community impacted by the pandemic. This initial $20 million in emergency relief funds will be deployed to support residents with housing and food assistance, provide economic relief for local small businesses and non-profits, and to support widespread community testing and other public health programs and needs.

“Our residents need more relief, and these are programs we can deploy funding to right now to support people’s and family’s housing, food and job security, as well as our community’s public health, during this pandemic,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “We know there is more we can do to help our community and families during this challenging time for all of us, and we’re committed to working with our partners and members of City Council to address those needs through these emergency relief funds.”

Phase one emergency support funds will be provided for:

  • Housing Relief: $6.5 millionto support rent and utility assistance ($4M) and mortgage assistance ($1M) programs and rehousing strategies ($1.5M) for those impacted by COVID-19.
  • Food Assistance: $2 million to support food assistance programs, as well as city agencies conducting feeding programs for vulnerable populations, including Denver Public Schools. These funds will also be used for sanitization and retrofitting of food pantries across the city.
  • Non-profit and Business Relief: $6.5 million to support grants to non-profits ($2.2M) and small businesses ($4.3M). This is in addition to existing grants and relief funds provided by Denver’s office of Economic Development & Opportunity.
  • Public Health and Safety Needs: $5 millionto support continued public health programs and safety needs, including widespread community testing, sanitizing equipment for businesses, non-profits and nursing homes and personal protective equipment.

The city will work with City Council to initiate amendments to existing contracts or create new contracts to deploy these additional resources into existing programs, such as the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance (TRUA) and mortgage assistance programs, and to identify new program partnerships for rehousing and other investments.

For the remaining CARES Act funds, the city is initiating a deliberative process to collaborate with the Recovery Council and City Council on eligible uses and priorities for the funds, an intake process for programmatic ideas, and to set aside a portion of the funds as contingency dollars to cushion the city from future potential impacts from the pandemic.

Additionally, this week, Denver Economic Development & Opportunity, will be awarding another $750,000 to $1 million in grants to support many of Denver’s most vulnerable small businesses. The grants are provided in partnership with Mile High United Way, The grants are provided in partnership with Mile High United Way, through the Small Businesses Emergency Relief Fund, launched in mid-March as one the city’s initiatives to help businesses cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards will continue to be granted to small businesses next week.

For more information on the city’s COVID-19 response, visit Denvergov.org/covid19.

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