The Department of Housing Stability (HOST) put out their 2023 draft Action Plan. See here
https://denvergov.org/files/assets/public/housing-stability/documents/host_2023actionplan_c2_singlepages.pdf They are taking comments on this plan up until Wednesday October 26th at 5pm through this feedback form https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HOST2023Plan.
This year’s plan continues to direct funding and time to warehousing and “managing” houselessness instead of creating the housing needed. Here are some key things to note about this 2023 plan:
- Only 219 permanent supportive housing units are planned to be bought in 2023. To our knowledge this will be all the units built under 30% AMI. With a reported shortage of 19,000 units for people at or below 30% AMI plus an estimate of at least 10,000 houseless people (doubling the PIT count) we need at least 29,000 units under 30% AMI. That means these 219 units in 2023 are meeting less than 1% of the need.
- The plan uses language of “decommissioning encampments” as if they have housing to move folks living at encampments into. This language is used to make it sound like they are doing something new, when in reality, they still plan to sweep people living at encampments to nowhere – further criminalizing and endangering their lives, isolating them from community and resources as they go deeper into hiding.
- Instead of building housing, HOST plans to use $23 million of ARPA funds to buy hotels and turn them into “navigation centers” where people will be stuffed in rooms with multiple people in bunk beds and treated as shelter guests. This same funding could be used to buy hotels to be turned into housing, as other funding is planned for, rather than this unnecessary intermediate step.
- The plan states they will, “Improve transparency of encampment related activities by coordinating with Mayor’s Office and partner city agencies to implement a standardized process by which the City will assess encampment risk and prioritization for clean-up and/or enforcement actions based on a set of consistent, publicly available criteria.” So what is the standard process, and what is the criteria?
- The plan sets a goal to “address unsheltered homelessness” leaving one to wonder what it means to “address” here!@# This vague language leaves it open to mean sweeping, warehousing, or any way of getting visible houseless people out of sight.
This year’s plan is part of a 5 year plan that started in 2022. You can read our critique of the full five year plan here https://housekeysactionnetwork.com/host-housing-plan-critique%ef%bf%bc/
Tell HOST what you think of this plan here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HOST2023Plan. Use the open comment sections to elaborate beyond the questions they ask you to answer.
Onwards towards rights and housing for all…
Housekeys Action Network Denver
Towards rights, dignity, housing…