May 19, 2017
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Erik Soliván, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing & Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE), today launched a new strategy aimed at helping Denver residents experiencing homelessness or struggling to make ends meet.
The city’s strategy will go beyond a housing-first approach, and focus efforts on connecting individuals and families to affordable housing, healthy living and good paying jobs. The new approach for Denver will integrate all three factors to empower people to lead vibrant lives no matter their station in life.
“We want our residents to have the opportunity to turn a house into a home, and truly thrive in our city,” Mayor Hancock said. “To give people the chance to build a home, build their lives and build their futures, we must go beyond putting a roof over someone’s head. This is a new approach to leveraging our resources and coordinating department work to connect our people with good jobs, good health and a good home. When these three needs are met, people are empowered to succeed.”
Mayor Hancock and Soliván detailed the strategy and supporting action plan at the city’s third annual Housing Summit. The Office of HOPE will lead the work of leveraging public and private partner programs and resources to provide:
Denver is experiencing a historic low for inventory and high cost of homeownership with median sale prices exceeding $350,000. And according to the Denver Housing Authority, a minimum of 21,000 affordable units are needed to meet the current housing demand. This need impacts everyone from those in our shelters to workers on construction sites, teachers, firefighters, police officers and the service industry.
The population of those who are homeless has also changed in recent years:
Under the three priority areas of affordable housing, healthy living and good paying jobs, the Office of HOPE, working across agencies, compiled a list of 30 short-term actions to improve and expand city and partner services throughout the end of the year. Short-term actions include:
Health and Supportive Services
For the full list of short-term action items go to: www.DenverGov.org/HOPE.
“The strategy and actions reflect the feedback of our partners, communities and city agencies,” Soliván said. “We are grateful for their hard work and ongoing support, and know that by working together, we can do more to build a safer, healthier and stronger Denver.”
This new strategy will also work with the Mayor’s mobility efforts to ensure the city is providing more and better transportation options for families and individuals where limited options may be impacting their ability to find affordable housing and good jobs.
Today, the City and County of Denver invests more in affordable housing and homelessness than ever before. The new strategy builds and expands on the considerable work by the city and partners in the areas of affordable housing, job training and health services over the last six years.
For a list of that work go to www.DenverGov.org/HOPE.