Denver City Council Sends Homelessness Resolution Tax to November 2020 Ballot
On Monday, August 24th, Denver City Council voted unanimously in favor of referring a sales tax initiative aimed at supporting people experiencing homelessness to the November 2020 ballot. The proposal, put forth by Councilwoman Robin Kniech in partnership with Mayor Hancock and Denver’s Office of Housing Stability (HOST), asks voters to approve a 0.25 percent sales and use tax (approximately 2.5 cents on every ten dollar purchase) which would generate an estimated $40 million annually beginning January 1, 2021.
This revenue stream, which would be managed by HOST, would fund shelters and services for people experiencing homelessness, including (but not limited to) building housing and expanding rental assistance; expanding the number of shelter beds and access to 24-hour shelters and services; and providing more housing referrals and other supportive services to people living on the street.
According to the 2020 Point in Time study, more than 4,000 individuals are experiencing homelessness in Denver, a 6% increase from 2019. The need in our community is clear and we applaud Councilwoman Kniech, Mayor Hancock, and the members of Denver City Council for taking this important step forward.
“We believe this proposal is a key piece of the puzzle in our city’s continued efforts to address homelessness,” said Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, “We are proud to support this measure and look forward to working with our public, private and nonprofit sector partners and the downtown community to continue to find ways to ensure our neighbors experiencing homelessness are well-supported.”
The Downtown Denver Partnership has long been committed to collaborating on solutions to address homelessness, including raising millions of dollars to add services and shelters, advocating for supportive policies, and partnering with local social service organizations. On Tuesday, August 18th, the Downtown Denver Partnership Management Group Board of Directors voted to support the Homelessness Resolution Tax. This move further emphasized that a key priority for the Downtown Denver Partnership is ensuring the most vulnerable residents have access to shelter, housing and resources.
Downtown Denver Partnership Members are invited to take the Partnership’s semi-annual Public Policy and Advocacy Survey to help inform future advocacy efforts. We look forward to hearing from you.