Nine months after Denver launched a housing program that Drew national headlines for its innovative approach to portion lower-financial gain families, it’s serving obscurity near the 400 families city manager Michael Hancock envisioned.
So far, it’s more like three families.
Stateline, a publication of Pew Charitable Trusts, first according the figure this week. some other four households have signed leases but haven’t yet affected into their units, and seven more are interested, aforementioned city housing staff member Laura Brudzynski.
“We really wanted to make sure that we were launching this program very deliberately and thoughtfully,” she aforementioned in an interview. “We are working to house folks as fast as we can, but besides appropriately and with all of those inside information ironed out.”
The LIVE program is now expected to serve 125 households eventually.
It’s similar in conception to the federal Section 8 voucher program. But LIVE targets higher-financial gain earners — those making 40 to 80 percentage of area median financial gain, which is up to about $72,000 for a family of four.
A St. Joseph’s secretary in the program, for example, saw her rent for a one-bedroom near downtown subsidized, falling her cost from $1,600 to $1,100, as Stateline according. Participants can stay in the program for two years. They besides receive financial guidance and, at the end of the program, they can get back a small portion of the rent they’ve paid and use it on housing or training.
The program really started running in January, when the first lease was signed. It’s principally funded by the city of Denver, which has dedicated about $180,000 for the program’s staffing over its five-year period, plus some other $1 million to pay the rent subsidies.
So far, all of the participants are employees of St. Joseph’s Hospital, which has kicked in $100,000. That amount should support about 25 households, according to Brudzynski.
“We are finding in early phases the current market rents are still out of reach for some entry level employees. We expect the pilot will teach us much about the real challenges working families face in this housing market,” wrote DHA interpreter Stella Madrid in an email.
The program besides will be opened to the public — not just active companies — erstwhile this summer, she aforementioned.
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Originally, the idea was that the program would be mostly supported by employers and philanthropies, according to Erik Soliván, Hancock’s former housing adviser. But now he believes the city and DHA will be stuck running it.
“It’s a program that’s never going to get on its feet,” aforementioned Soliván. “The goal of this was that we wanted to create a program that the city would participate in launching it, and then employers and foundations own it, and it operates on its own.”
Soliván quit the city last year and now is supporting Lisa Calderon in her campaign to unseat Hancock.
Brudzynski is optimistic that the program will grow, especially over the next year.
“We’re recognizing that this is a entirely new approach. This is not thing that we had a model to look to in other cities. We are creating thing new and innovative in Denver,” she aforementioned.