MHC Updates

September 7, 2016

Affordable Housing & Community Facilities

Affordable Housing Revenue Fund
The City of Denver’s proposed Affordable Housing Revenue Fund has taken a major step forward. The proposal, estimated to provide $156 million in revenue over its first 10 years, passed unanimously thru City Council Committee on August 24th by unanimous vote and is headed to the full City Council floor. The proposal will be heard by the full City Council on September 12th. The final vote and 1 hour of public comment will occur on September 19th at 5:30 pm. MHC and many of its Steering Committee partners have been actively engaged in this 18 month process, working with the City to establish this much needed resource as well as the governance and eligible uses of its resources. Denver Residents are encouraged to sign an endorsement letter created by the city and/or leave feedback for the city on the housing proposal using this link.

Recent updates to the Fund:
· Mayor Hancock has committed to using $5 million from the general fund in the first year to ensure a full $15 million of available funds.
· ADU’s and other additions under 400 sq. ft. are exempted from the development fee


2016 Grantees

Our June 2016 grant cycle was the most competitive to date with 21 applications from groups and organizations throughout the Denver Region. After sharing back the information gleaned from site visits and engaging in robust discussions, the MHC Grant Fund Committee chose to fund 10 organizations, including an emerging resident group from Lakewood. MHC is excited to announce the 2016 grantees:

Cultivando (formerly Community Enterprise) | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: Cultivando will focus on a promotora-led community education, engagement, and collective advocacy on affordable housing, gentrification, accessible/affordable transit and community-driven policies that protect low-income families from displacement. They will work with agency partners and community members to amplify community-driven policy solutions to the complex problems of affordable housing.

Colorado Jobs with Justice | Grant Amount: $25,000

Project Description: Colorado Jobs with Justice will build on the grassroots organizing that they initiated with their coalition members last year for an income-based fare and pass program. They will also build the capacity of their members to speak and take on leadership roles within the work and integrate the work into their Fair Chance and Caring Across Generations Campaign to engage formerly incarcerated individuals, elderly, disabled, and home care providers.

Colorado People’s Alliance (formerly Rights for All People) | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: Colorado People’s Alliance will continue their work on the income-based pass, 50% discount for those living at or below 150% of the poverty level. They also will lead the work on protecting critical bus routes in Original Aurora. And given their transition from Rights for All People to COPA, they will work to connect the transit work to the larger strategies aimed at the economy.

Colorado Cross Disability Coalition | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: Colorado Cross Disability Coalition will continue their data-driven transportation focused advocacy for people with disabilities. This includes training current advocates and community outreach to secure positions for people with disabilities in decision-making spaces on policies.

GES Right to Live Well | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: GES Right to Live Well will convene a collaborative, GES Development without Displacement Nonprofit Coalition, which is comprised of GES community leaders, allies, and stakeholders to launch a GES-based Housing Campaign and Resident Leadership Organizing Committee. The Committee will build community owned solutions centered on the most critical issues identified by GES neighbors: affordable housing, affordable transportation, and protection of the unique community.

Growing Home | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: Growing Home will continue to implement its Bocks of Hope project with the leadership of its community organizer. It will expand outreach to the community to address changes due to the TOD and resulting impacts on the local housing market.

Los Gables (resident group) | Grant Amount: $10,000

Project Description: Veronica Jimenez, Guadalupe Gonzales, and Yolanda Hernandez propose to engage residents/mothers from the Gables Zone in advocating for bus stops and increased bus frequency in the neighborhood.

Montbello Organizing Committee | Grant Amount: $20,000

Project Description: Montbello Organizing Committee will continue to ensure that Montbello residents have access to transit offerings that connect them to housing, healthy food, education, and jobs.

Project VOYCE | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: Project VOYCE will initiative a youth Block Captain leadership development and community organizing project in GES to develop a campaign focused on improving access to affordable housing, affordable and equitable transportation access, development, and community renewal.

Streetsblog Denver | Grant Amount: $16,540

Project Description: Through a part-time reporter Streetsblog Denver will expand its focus on transit issues, including housing, workforce, and equity as well as research and write longer, more investigative pieces on transit and Denver’s growth.


First & Last Mile Connections

Broadway Bikeway
On August 15, the City and County of Denver opened a two-way parking protected bikeway between Virginia and Bayaud on Broadway. The opening of the Broadway Bikeway demonstration project is the culmination of an extensive planning and public engagement process. It will be open for three months and will provide data about multi-modal operations on this vital transportation route that will inform the development of permanent protected bike lanes. This is a critical link to downtown for bicycle commuters and serves as a connection to the Alameda Light Rail Station. Cyclists are encouraged to ride the bikeway and provide feedback to the City by completing the survey at denvermovesbroadway.com/survey. For more information about the project visit denvermovesbroadway.com.

Denveright
Denveright is an effort by the City and County of Denver to comprehensively plan its future through a community-driven process. It consists of four integrated plans.

• Blueprint Denver – Blueprint promotes urban design goals that result in a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly environment, increased transit service on major corridors, shared parking in business districts and more housing in mixed-use areas. This update will continue the work that began 15 years ago with the original Blueprint and help the City meet changing demands and conditions.
• Parks Game Plan – The Game Plan emphasizes the vision of “a city in a park” and a set of core values: the environment, engagement, equity and sound economics. It focuses on providing quality recreational amenities citywide, especially in the neighborhoods that need them most. The plan revision will define new parks and recreation centers, relevant programs, and how existing assets are maintained and enhanced in the face of financial constraints, climate change, shifting demographics and increased use.
• Denver Moves: Pedestrians and Trails – This plan will help make walking a viable primary way for people to get around comfortably and safely. With guidance and input from the community, the plan will identify citywide needs and define priorities for improving and connecting Denver’s pedestrian and off-street trail network. It also will examine costs, funding options and policies required to achieve the community’s vision.
• Denver Moves: Transit – For the first time, and with input from the community, Denver is planning for local transit choices and improvements to move people around town safely and reliably. This plan will create a local vision that will build on and complement RTD’s regional system. It also will take a closer look at implementation strategies and funding options for local transit improvements.

Mile High Connects serves on Blueprint Denver task forces and the two Denver Moves task forces. Denveright provides an important opportunity to shape the future of the City and ensure opportunity for everyone who lives and works here. There will be a series of surveys that provide opportunities for input by the entire community. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to learn more about Denveright and provide their opinions here.