Denver Metropolis Council Advances Metropolis’s 5-Yr Plan to Fight Homelessness | authorities

The Denver City Council Housing Committee on Wednesday approved the city’s new five-year strategic plan to combat homelessness and moved the plan to the full council for final vote.

The plan was presented by the Department of Housing Stability with the intent of reducing homelessness and increasing housing stability and affordability in Denver by 2026.

“We’re working towards a Denver where residents rarely experience homelessness, and when they do, it’s only brief and unique,” said Jennifer Biess of the department. “This plan will help create a Denver where residents have equal access to housing that meets their affordability needs.”

In 2021, there were around 5,530 homeless people in shelters in the Denver area, according to an annual census. Another 1,185 people are living in illegal camps across the city, according to estimates by the Department of Housing Stability.

From 2010 to 2017, the number of homeless residents in the greater Denver area fell from 8,752 to 5,116, according to the census. But since 2017 the population has grown steadily, reaching 6,104 in 2020.

To address this, the five-year plan includes 18 goals for the city to achieve by 2026, as well as some strategies and tactics to help achieve the goals:

Homeless dissolution

  • Reduce Unprotected Homelessness by 50% from 2022 to 2026.
  • Increase the annual number of households cared for in resettlement and support housing programs from 1,800 to 3,000.
  • End veteran homelessness measurably by moving at least as many veterans into permanent shelter each month as there are veterans who are homeless.
  • Increase in the percentage of supervised households that return to living from 30% to 40%.
  • Increase the percentage of households leaving housing and outreach programs to increase housing from 25% to 50%.
  • Reduce residents’ average length of homelessness to 90 days.

Housing possibility

  • Denver’s proportion of limited income homes increased from 7% to 8% through the creation and maintenance of 7,000 homes, including 900 homes in support of housing.
  • Reduction of the housing cost burden for households with low and middle income from 59% to 51%.
  • Get at least 950 apartments in restricted income rentals and homes for sale.
  • Increase in the home ownership rate for households with low and middle income from 36% to 41% and for colored households from 41% to 45%.

Denver Church converted into affordable housing for the homeless

Housing stability

  • Reduction of the number of evictions by 25% from 8,800 to 6,600 annually.
  • Support a policy to prioritize residents who are at risk or have been displaced for newly developed affordable housing.
  • In 2022, set future goals for actions such as foreclosures on income-restricted units and household mobility.

Operational support

  • Improve communication channels by aligning them with community needs and measuring their effectiveness based on a baseline survey from 2022.
  • Reduce the average time from conditional approval to fully executed contract to under 60 days for program contracts under $ 500,000, to under 75 days for program contracts over $ 500,000, and under 90 days for development contracts.
  • Reduce the average procurement decision time from 47 days to 30 days.
  • Reduce the average invoice processing time from 21 days to 7 days.
  • Increase respondents’ feedback from community and stakeholders, including creating publicly available financial and performance dashboards.

At Wednesday’s meeting, councilors expressed concern that the plan might be too broad and far-reaching. Councilor Robin Kniech specifically asked how the plan would target residents in certain household income brackets.

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“I’m worried how we’re going to do this in such a long plan, it tries to do so many things,” Kniech said. “This is my fight. It’s not about a detail in the plan, it’s a bit about the” forest versus trees and how we do it in a transparent way. “

Councilors Jamie Torres and Paul Kashmann also called for the plan to include more details on the city’s future intentions regarding RV communities and the Social Impact Bond program.

Despite concerns, the committee unanimously submitted the plan to the full council for consideration in November. This five-year plan would replace the city’s existing three-year Strategic Shelter Plan and the Housing Inclusive Denver Plan, according to the Department of Housing Stability.

The Ministry of Housing Stability also intends to publish a 2022 Action Plan, which is currently under development. The 2022 plan will be released for public comment in November and for approval by the council in December.

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