DENVER (KDVR) — The mayor of Denver could spend $6 million on what his advisers call manufactured sleeping units — essentially, tiny homes.
The idea is to create housing for people on the streets as part of Mayor Mike Johnston’s House1000 initiative.
The mayor’s senior adviser on this issue, Cole Chandler, provided a breakdown of what these are and how they will be used. The manufactured sleeping units, or MSUs for short, are for unhoused people — if Denver city leaders agree to spend millions of dollars on them.
“The units themselves range from about 80 to 100 square feet,” Chandler said, “depending upon whether they’re single units or ADA-accessible (Americans with Disabilities Act) units that are a little bit larger.”
The MSUs are meant to give some folks a place to rest while they get back on their feet.
“Basically, there’s room for a bed and a small desk and somewhere to store their things,” Chandler said.
Tiny homes for homeless would cost $20K each
It is not yet a done deal. Denver City Council still has to approve the contract with the manufacturer, Clayton Homes.
“This contract would allow us to buy up to 300 and the contract is for up to $6 million, so we’re looking at about $20,000 per door,” Chandler said.
The MSUs will not have plumbing — that will be provided at a nearby community center — but they will have air conditioning, heat and electricity.
FOX31 asked if the city had a ballpark figure of what it would cost to upkeep one of these MSUs.
“No, not at this time,” Chandler said.
Denver City Council Member Darrell Watson has expressed concern about where more proposed funds would come from for the city’s rental assistance program, and the same question lingers for funding the MSUs.
FOX31 asked the mayor’s adviser: Where will this $6 million come from? General fund? A department’s budget? All budgets in multiple departments in the city?
“You know, I actually don’t have that answer off the top of my head today,” Chandler said.
If approved, the MSUs would be placed at the planned micro-communities around the city.
Chandler said there could be anywhere from 40 to 120 units at one site, depending on the size of the land where they are placed.