Housing, Homelessness & Hunger

Metro Mayors Group Photo June 2019

MMC Presents Check from Flex Fund Fundraising to MDHI at June 5th Meeting.

The Housing, Homelessness and Hunger Committee meets regularly to implement Metro Mayors Caucus initiatives and to develop and recommend new policies and activities aimed at increasing the supply of low cost housing and eliminating homelessness and hunger in our communities. View agendas and meeting records.

Initiatives

The Caucus has worked on a number of housing focused initiatives over the past two decades. Among the variety of initiatives the Committee has helped develop on behalf of the Caucus are those focused on:

  • Public Will Building and Engagement   - MMC was a partner in the 2015 launch of the statewide Close to Home campaign to end homelessness in Colorado by informing Colorado residents about homelessness and who the homeless really are, and engaging them directly in creating change. The mayors also support National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week each year through food and sock drives, acts of service, proclamations and other efforts to help connect those experiencing homelessness and hunger in our communities with critical resources. Get the Facts about Hunger in Colorado.
  • Landlord Incentives and Gap Funding to Move from Homeless to Housed -  MMC provided financial support to the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative's Landlord Recruitment program that provides funding to landlords to address any damages sustained in the course of renting to a person exiting homelessness. The Caucus also provided start-up and funding and ongoing support to the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative's Flex Fund which provides  critical gap funding necessary to move out of homelessness and into stable housing. In the first six months of 2019 the Metro Mayors Caucus raised more than $68,000 from member cities for the Flex Fund. On June 5 the Caucus, the Denver Foundation and private sector partners celebrated raising more than $133,000 for the Flex Fund in 2019. The press release from the June 6 event includes more details. Since 2015 the Caucus with the Denver Foundation and private sector partners have contributed nearly $220,000 to the Flex and Landlord Funds.
  • Information Sharing to Maximize Resources and Improve Outcomes-  MMC helped to write the grant that secured an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Grant. IBM specialists provided expertise and recommendations in 2016 for the regional effort to  develop a multi-platform intake and assessment system to ensure rapid and accurate matching of needs and services for homeless individuals and families. This IBM Denver Region Smarter City Report slideshow from August 2016 contains an Executive Summary of IBM's recommendations. With Boulder County's leadership a data warehouse pilot is under way.
  • Downpayment Assistance and Fixed Rate Mortgages - the Caucus and member communities have pooled resources to the provide downpayment assistance and affordable, fixed-rate mortgages to low and moderate income homebuyers. The first program, which was launched in 1997, provided more than $200,000,000 in assistance in its first eleven years. The most recent version of the program which relaunched in 2013 served 28 cities and provided more than $320,000,000 in mortgages. The current program is targeted to low and very low income households and more information can be found on the Metro DPA website.
  • Removing Barriers to Construction of Low Cost Housing - for several years the Caucus was deeply engaged in the efforts of the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance to reform Colorado's laws regarding how construction defect claims are resolved. In 2013 it became clear that, unlike the single-family home market, the condominium market was not rebounding from the recession. Condominiums are a critical component of the housing market. They are popular among both first time buyers and those interested in down-sizing. Because of their land efficiency, they are also a critical part of many communities' efforts to build walkable and transit friendly communities where residents can live, work and play. Working with partners from the public, private and non-profit sectors a series of reforms to existing law were identified that would facilitate faster, more equitable and more cost effective resolution to defect claims through arbitration. In 2017, House Bill 17-1279 was passed by a bipartisan coalition. The bill was consistent with the Caucus' adopted 2017 Principles for Construction Defects Reform in that it provided homeowners additional protections in the form of preserving alternative dispute resolution as an option for homeowners and requiring informed consent and transparency before a HOA engaged it's members in costly and lengthy litigation.