🧭 My Vision
I believe that poverty is not a crime and everyone deserves access to safe, affordable housing. We must work together as a region to bring homelessness to functional zero and make housing affordable in Denver.
Denver continues to sweep encampments but the unhoused population continues to increase in Denver. Encampment sweeps are a costly, traumatizing, cosmetic approach that disperses people rather than meeting individual needs to reduce the number of people living unhoused. We need a compassionate solution for everyone.
Ending homelessness starts with advancing housing justice for tenants and homeowners, especially Black and Indigenous communities in Denver. We need to sustainably control housing costs, increase the supply of affordable housing, and combat systemic and historic drivers of housing inequality.
Everyone should have the opportunity to become a homeowner, and people should not have to worry about losing their shelter because of financial instability or health issues. Connecting people with housing and services reduces police interactions, improves public safety, and reduces demand and cost on publicly-funded emergency services.
To get a better understand of the homelessness situation is Denver:
🛏️ Built for Zero
- Recommit to Metro Denver Homeless Initiative existing Built For Zero framework that aligns by-name, real-time data with local planning and on shared measurable goals through regional coordination.
- Make targeted, data-driven investments in housing-first policies like supportive housing, master leasing apartments, and community land trusts.
- Scale the successful Safe Outdoor Spaces with mental health and substance abuse services to reduce unsanctioned camping. Also, implement car and RV spaces.
- Collaborate with landlords to accept housing vouchers which many are not being used.
🛎️ More Services
- Increase available case managers, including incentivizing formerly unhoused individuals to become case managers themselves.
- Increase resources to prevent people from becoming homeless.
- Open public bathrooms, and provide trash cans and other sanitation services to downtown encampments.
🚔 Decriminalize Homelessness
- Repeal the urban camping ban in order for organizations to find unhoused individuals to provide services, build trust, and place into housing in real time.
- Arresting unhoused individuals for being homelessness will not solve homelessness. In addition, we can’t arrest people for being homeless or ill due to the 4th Amendment (freedom from unreasonable search or seizure) or 8th Amendment (cruel or unusual punishment).
- Continue to invest in the Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) Program to address 911 calls due to mental health, poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse.
- Build police capacity to address property crime and vehicle theft by ending Denver’s costly and ineffective policy of encampment sweeps and reducing unnecessary interactions with the unhoused.
🏘️ Dense, Affordable Housing
- Build dense housing near public transportation with specific requirements for affordable housing.
- Increase affordable housing requirements under the Expanding Housing Affordability policy.
- Create income-restricted areas in neighborhoods, particularly near schools, hospitals, and public transit.
🏗️ Zoning Reform
- Speed up permitting through:
- Work with Community Planning and Development to remove barriers that are causing delays in the permitting process by implementing software and increasing staffing to process permitting faster.
- Implement “Pattern Zoning,” pre-approved building plans for homes and ADUs.
- Allow more duplexes, triplexes, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and mixed-use properties throughout the city.
- Offer zoning density bonuses in exchange for providing affordable housing on-site.
⚖️ Support for Residents
- Partner with community organizers and neighborhood associations to ensure new building projects do not worsen housing insecurity for existing residents, especially in parts of Denver historically impacted by redlining and segregation.
- Partner with housing and criminal justice agencies to connect formerly incarcerated people with housing and services and break the homelessness-jail cycle.