DENVER (KDVR) — Amid a city-wide recalibration of homeless strategy, the department that deals with Denver’s homelessness issues has seen its funding increase tenfold in only three years.
Wednesday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock held a press conference announcing a new shelter and a new plan to address homelessness in the city in partnership with charities. Among other items, Hancock emphasized that the city will not tolerate unsanctioned homeless camps. Instead, it will encourage sanctioned sites and rehousing strategies.
To this end, the people of Denver had approved a November 2020 tax initiative that will raise an estimated $40 million a year for the Denver Department of Housing Stability.
Denver’s funding towards homeless over the last 15 years have spanned different departments and different revenue sources. Homeless funding makes use of city, state and federal sources. Denver’s auditor suggested the these departments be housed in a single entity, and in 2019 the Denver Department of Housing Stability was minted.
In the last three years, the department’s funding has increased more than 1,000%.
The department breaks spending into four categories aimed at four separate sections of the population. One is aimed at helping the economically disadvantaged buy subsidized homes.
The other help renters who make a certain percentage of the area media income. Those who make 31%-80% of the median income and those who make 30% or less are targeted differently.
In 2018, there was $3.3 million allocated for homelessness, or 12% of the total funding. In 2020, there was $35 million allocated for homelessness – 70% of the total funding.