Migrants will move out of the Raddison Hotel at 4849 Bannock Street in District 9 and traditionally unhoused people will move in under a plan by the mayor’s office.
Denver homelessness czar Cole Chandler briefed the City Council on the hotel master lease during Tuesday’s mayor-council meeting. The city plans to master lease the hotel from Quebec Hospitality Inc. for $10.4 million through Dec. 31, 2024. The city has been leasing blocks of rooms. Quebec Hospitality Inc. also owns the Comfort Inn off Quebec where migrants have been staying.
Mayor Mike Johnston stressed that the current hotel occupants would be relocated and not left to the streets. Moving day for them would be Dec. 16, the day after Denver’s school semester ends. On Dec. 20, 110 unhoused people would move into the hotel, with another 110 moving in on Dec. 21.
If the council approves, the provider of wraparound services such as meals, behavioral health and substance abuse treatment and housing navigation will be Bayaud Enterprises. The hotel will fall under Johnston’s House1000 umbrella. Hotel guests will come from encampments planned to be decommissioned, which is the latest term for “sweep.”
‘A great, long-term site’
Chandler called the hotel “a great long-term site for all the assets it offers our system.” He said the hotel has ballrooms that can be used for cold weather sheltering and parking lots that presumably could host micro communities of tiny homes.
Data will determine whether the hotel is a success. The mayor’s office wants to see 40% of guests move on to more stable housing and 80% of guests engaged in case management and housing navigation.
With so many other homeless hotels owned by the city being located in District 8, some have alleged brown and Black communities are shouldering most of the city’s House1000 plan. But Chandler said five out of seven House1000 sites are located in census tracts earning $94,000, considerably more than the average median income of $78,000 in Denver.
How did Auora hotel get Denver migrants?
Council member Amanda Sawyer asked during the meeting how a hotel in Aurora came to house Denver migrants. The hotel kicked out some other residents at risk of homelessness when it obtained the city purchase order, according to Aurora City Council member Danielle Jurinsky. One of those people was an employee of one of Jurinsky’s businesses. Johnston said the employee later was given another room in the hotel.
He stressed that calls were made to Aurora’s mayor and city manager and county commissioners alerting them that the migrants would be bussed in from Denver. Sawyer said House1000 is like flying an airplane while it’s being built. “We have to move quickly,” Johnston said.
Sawyer suggested that language be included in contracts and purchase orders that would prohibit hotels from kicking out guests at risk for homelessness. Johnston said it’s a suggestion worth considering.