Homelessness Resolution Funding Passed by Denver Voters
On General Election Day, November 3, 2020, Denver voters passed Initiative 2B, authorizing an increase of .25% to Denver’s Sales and Use Tax to establish a new Homelessness Resolution Fund. The Downtown Denver Partnership was proud to advocate in favor of this measure as part of an ongoing commitment to supporting people experiencing homelessness in Denver.
“We believe this 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 have supported this measure and look forward to continuing to work 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 funding created by the measure will be used by HOST to generate more pathways out of homelessness through proven models such as combining housing and services, restoring lost shelter capacity, and improving the health and housing outcomes of shelter through more mental and physical health, employment, and other services for those who are unsheltered.
“This vote is a game changer in our efforts to support residents experiencing homelessness,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “Denver showed we are willing to do our part, and I want to thank the voters for stepping up at this critical time. Through proven solutions, we’re going to transform lives, and this vote shows how as a community, we are dedicated to building a healthy, housed, and connected Denver for all.”
Following the passage of Initiative 2B in the recent municipal election, Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) is taking steps to ensure accountability of the use of funds and to establish a public engagement process to inform specific plans for the fund’s investments and outcomes.
Later this month, HOST will issue an addendum to its draft 2021 Action Plan that will outline a framework for expenditure of the 2B funds in 2021. The release of the addendum will be followed by a public comment period, which the Downtown Denver Partnership will share with Members and the downtown community to ensure feedback is
Eligible uses for the fund include housing development, rental assistance and supportive services for housing; expanding shelter capacity and access to 24/7 services, mental health care, substance treatment, housing/employment counseling, and COVID-19 prevention; providing multiple services at a single site; and other programs and services for those experiencing homelessness. For 2021, the 2B funds are expected to assist HOST to transition from the COVID-19 public health emergency, set up infrastructure for long-term outcomes for those experiencing homelessness, and help connect individuals and families to existing housing.
As approved, Initiative 2B will cost an average household about $5.25 per month. The fund is estimated to generate an average of approximately $40 million annually over the first 10 years. However, revenue from 2B in 2021 is expected to be lower due to reduced economic activity resulting from the pandemic