Denver Business Journal – by Kelcey McClung

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan are among a new bipartisan group from several states seeking to address homelessness and affordable housing issues nationwide.

Called Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, the coalition of local government and business leaders aims to advance public-private partnerships to tackle housing issues.

“As city leaders, we have the ability and obligation to help address the issue of homelessness,” said Hogan. “This new initiative will pursue partnerships and creative solutions to take the conversation in new directions to help improve the well-being of those impacted by this national problem.”

Both Hogan and Hancock spoke about the affordable housing issue at the Denver Business Journal’s State of the Cities forum Jan. 11.

The group represents mayors from Colorado, Pennsylvania, D.C., California, Arkansas and Arizona as well as executives from Airbnb, California hospital system Sutter Health and Los Angeles-based GHC Housing.

They recommended four federal policy changes in launching the group:

  • Maximize funding for existing federal housing programs.
  • Create a federal grant program to support shovel-ready projects to address homelessness. The program would be called Housing Innovation, Investment, and Reform Opportunities (HIIRO).
  • Create a voucher program for homeless families and people suffering mental health issues. The program would be called Partnerships Accelerating Supportive Services (PASS) and would build on the existing HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing model.
  • Create a federal housing stabilization fund that can provide one-time, short-term emergency housing assistance to households below 80 of area median income.

“By coming together to advocate for more investments in affordable housing here in Denver and across the country, we can better provide individuals, families and those in need of a good home to call their own with the support they need to build their lives and build their futures,” said Hancock.

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