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Denver City Council Approves Critical Contracts to Continue and Deepen Support for Residents Facing Housing Challenges

Denver City Council approved a package of housing related contracts last night that will ensure deeper and continuing support for residents facing a variety of housing challenges. Presented to Council by Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST), the package of six contracts totals more than $5.5 million and will impact approximately 3,300 Denver households.

“We’re working with many partners to promote access to affordable housing, and to stabilize residents at risk of displacement,” said HOST Executive Director Britta Fisher. “Through these important program dollars, we’re providing a variety of supports to help ensure residents are housed, healthy and connected to needed resources for stability.”

The largest of the contracts will go to the Colorado Health Network to deliver rent assistance, deposit assistance, and housing related supportive services for low-income individuals living with HIV and AIDS. Funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids program, the amended contract also includes day shelter services for individuals living with HIV and AIDS who are experiencing homelessness. An additional $2,331,187 in 2020 funds is provided through the amended contract.

Council approved contract amendments to continue the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program (TRUA) that promotes stability among residents facing a housing crisis and possible eviction. Administered by Brothers Redevelopment and Northeast Denver Housing Center, TRUA has assisted more than 2,000 households with rental assistance, utility assistance, housing counseling services and financial coaching since the program’s inception in late 2017. An additional $2,000,000 in TRUA funding was approved for 2020.

A Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program offered through the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is continuing throughout 2020, with an additional $566,000 in HOME Investment Partnerships HUD funding approved. The program offers rent assistance and security deposits to help transition households experiencing homelessness to permanent housing.

A rapid rehousing program contract with the Volunteers of America has also been extended with $375,000 in additional funding. Targeted to households experiencing homelessness, the program provides rent and other housing stability assistance for up to 24 months.

A contract with Colorado Legal Services, providing legal representation in eviction court for low- and moderate-income residents, was extended with $297,517 in additional funding. Denver began offering free legal help to income-qualified households in 2018 and has assisted approximately 1,000 households.

In 2019, HOST staff reviewed the performance of the 2019 contracts to determine contracts eligible for renewal in 2020. Contracts meeting performance objectives and compliance requirements were recommended for an extension and additional funding for 2020.

In the coming weeks, HOST will bring additional program funding requests to Council, including contracts supporting homebuyer down payment assistance, home repair and rehabilitation assistance, and home access modifications.