Denver, CO

Denver wins $11 million grant to prevent homelessness

David Heitz
Denver Homeless Out Loud

The federal government awarded Denver nearly $11 million to prevent homelessness.

The city received an America Rescue Plan grant. Denver can use the money through 2030. The city can spend the money to:

  • Build or preserve affordable housing
  • Provide rental assistance
  • Offer homeless prevention services
  • Provide housing counseling
  • Buy non-congregant shelters like hotels and motels where individuals have their own rooms

The City Council will vote on the grant agreement Tuesday. Monday, when the council usually meets, is Martin Luther King Day.

Affordable housing set for renovation

Also Tuesday, the council will vote on ending one loan agreement with Colorado Coalition for the Homeless to create a new one. The council will consider ending a performance loan agreement made to the Coalition to construct Renaissance Off Broadway Lofts.

The 81-unit building at 2135 Stout St. was built in 2001 and needs renovation. The council will vote on a new loan agreement to provide the Coalition with $1,250,000 for the renovation costs. Denver will tie the loan to a 60-year performance agreement.

The city will forgive the loan if the Coalition meets specific housing retention goals.

According to a city staff report, the apartment building "has significant capital needs and deferred maintenance issues that need to be addressed in order to preserve these units."

The Coalition plans to increase the number of supportive housing units in the building from 21 to 25. The other units rent to people at 60 percent or less of the area's adjusted median income, which is $44,016 for one person.

Health services coming to homeless shelter

Also Tuesday, the council will vote on whether to sub-lease a portion of its homeless shelter at 4600 E. 48th Ave. to the Coalition. The Coalition plans to use the space to provide health services during the daytime to people experiencing homelessness. The rent will be $10 per month for about 4,000 square feet for seven months.

This week, City Council member Paul Kashmann said during a Public Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness Committee meeting that homelessness is the most critical issue facing the city. Coalition CEO John Parvensky implored the city to invest more in affordable housing.

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I have been in the news business more than 30 years, spending much of my career at some of the best local newspapers in the country. Today, I report on Denver City Hall, homelessness and other topics for NewsBreak, much like I did in my twenties covering Newport Beach, Calif. for the Daily Pilot. I consider myself a lucky guy to still be doing what I love after so many years.

Denver, CO

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