Mike Johnston issues emergency declaration for homelessness in Denver
Mayor Mike Johnston signed an emergency declaration Tuesday to shelter at least 1,000 people experiencing homelessness in Denver by the end of the year.
Details: The plan calls on using hotels for shelters, providing rental units, finding sites where the city can open tiny home villages, and expediting permitting and construction for affordable housing projects.
- The emergency operations center will be activated for the homelessness declaration starting July 24 to coordinate the response.
Why it matters: The declaration will help Denver access state and federal money for homelessness — though he didn't specify how much money the city will be requesting.
State of play: This marks the first time Denver has issued such a declaration for homelessness, emergency management director Matthew Mueller tells us.
- The city has a separate one related to its migrant response that expires Aug. 21.
By the numbers: Johnston estimated there are roughly 1,400 unsheltered people in Denver.
- The city has identified 197 potential sites to host micro-communities for housing.
Zoom out: Cities like Portland and Los Angeles have issued similar declarations — with few results.
- Neither city has seen a significant improvement with Portland extending its emergency status at least five times since first enacting it in 2015.
- Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said the city has cut red tape toward building housing after extending its declaration last week after it was first issued in December.
Of note: It's not clear how much the entire effort will cost Denver.
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