Five-Year Strategic Planning Efforts

The Denver Department of Housing Stability (HOST) is setting the direction for our work over the next five years, and we invite you to join us!   

Survey_infographic_one.png Building on the foundation of our 2021 Action Plan, the Three-Year Shelter Expansion Plan, and Housing an Inclusive Denver, HOST is drafting a five year strategic plan to help guide how we invest resources, create policy and partner to provide housing stability, resolve episodes of homelessness, and create housing opportunities for the people of Denver.

 Please take our community survey! Your input is vital to the success of this plan. 

Background

HOST had begun work on its five-year strategic plan in January 2020, convening community members to help create a plan to achieve our vision of a healthy, housed, and connected Denver. More than 100 Denver stakeholders representing nonprofits, community organizations, developers, people with lived experience, City Council members, government agency partners, funding partners, and businesses were meeting regularly. In late March 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic created a new reality where the needs of those without homes or at risk of losing their homes were paramount. 

The City and the HOST team responded to the crisis, putting long-term strategic planning efforts on a new course. Though the strategic planning process continued in truncated form, the level of community engagement necessary to create a long-term plan was not possible while also responding to the immediate needs of vulnerable populations impacted by the pandemic. In consultation with stakeholders, HOST proposed producing a one-year action plan for the short-term and postponing work on longer-term planning until 2021. This approach was formally approved by the Strategic Planning Executive Committee and approved by the Mayor and City Council. 

Immediately following the release of HOST’s 2020 Action Plan, Denver voters generously approved Initiative 2B, which provides significant new funding for homelessness and housing efforts. As a result, HOST engaged in even further community outreach and planning for how to spend 2B funds. 

The effect of COVID-19 on the City and County of Denver has been overwhelming, especially for people with the fewest resources. The economic impact of public health-related business closures left thousands with reduced income, leading to an increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness and housing instability. As a result, Denver City Council and Mayor Michael Hancock proceeded with the appointment of two advisory committees (see Staff Input and Advisory Groups section below). The department’s 2021 Action Plan allowed HOST to provide effective emergency response, continued investment in housing opportunities and programs, and established important baseline data and procedures to support the successful creation of a five-year strategic plan. 

 

Planning Timeline 

Just months into the COVID-19 pandemic, HOST renewed its long-term strategic planning efforts. Input is being collected from stakeholders, with the final plan to be submitted to City Council in November. The timeline includes: 

January through April 2021 – Early input from those most impacted including people experiencing homelessness and displacement, providers, developers, funders and those working to prevent displacement 

May through July 2021 – Community engagement, including extensive outreach to those at risk of displacement, experiencing homelessness, or living in affordable housing; Recommendations and strategies refined; Initial plan drafted 

August 2021 – Initial draft presented for City Council and further public feedback via survey 

September through October 2021 – Plan revised, provided Housing Stability Strategic Advisors for approval and recommendation to City Council 

November 2021 – Plan submitted for City Council approval


Advisory Groups

In addition to ongoing meetings with providers, developers, policymakers, those with expertise in displacement and equity, other city agencies and our own staff, two advisory boards are overseeing the department’s strategic planning process:  

Housing Stability Strategic Advisors: Publicly appointed in Quarter 4 of 2020, the Housing Stability Strategic Advisors advise the Executive Director of HOST, including on plan recommendations. By city ordinance, members of this group have responsibility for voting to recommend the strategic plan to City Council.  

Strategic Planning Executive Committee: Formed in 2020 to guide and recommend HOST’s five-year strategic plan to the Mayor, the authority to recommend the plan moved to the Housing Stability Strategic Advisors with the passage of revisions to the Denver Revised Municipal Code. However, the Executive Committee continues to meet alongside the Strategic Advisors to guide and inform the plan.  

 

Stakeholder Engagement

HOST’s five-year strategic plan is being informed by hundreds of stakeholders throughout the city, including residents and people who have themselves experienced or are experiencing housing instability and homelessness, as well as individuals representing nonprofits, community organizations, developers, City Council members, government agency partners, funding partners, and businesses. 

As part of the process, HOST is engaging with external stakeholder groups that are representative of a diverse range of perspectives across the housing continuum and funder community. These groups range from the Anti-Displacement Policy Network that includes community based organizations focused on involuntary displacement and equity, the Neighborhood Development Collaborative that includes developers of affordable housing, Private funders that includes major foundations and other organizations supporting homelessness resolution and neighborhood mitigation to the Housing Stability Strategic Advisors and Strategic Planning Committee with representatives appointed by the Mayor and City Council (see Advisory Groups)”

 

  • Anti-Displacement Policy Network – representatives from community-based organizations, service providers and city staff focused on gentrification, involuntary displacement, neighborhood issues and equity 

  • Neighborhood Development Collaborative – affordable housing developers focused on the affordable housing pipeline, preservation, and naturally occurring affordable housing 

  • Private philanthropic funders – including The Anschutz Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation, Kaiser, the Downtown Denver Partnership, VISIT Denver, PDC Energy, Mile High United Way, Broe Family Foundation and General Contractors of Colorado and others focused on funding alignment, homelessness resolution, and neighborhood mitigation 

  • Housing Stability Strategic Advisors and Strategic Planning Executive Committee – selected stakeholders across the continuum providing plan guidance and recommending plan to the Mayor and City Council (see Staff Input and Advisory Groups section above) 

In addition, HOST is interviewing people experiencing homelessness who are staying in congregate shelters, being temporarily housed in hotels and staying in the new Safe Outdoor Space campsites. Outreach will include those participating in or utilizing HOST-funded programs and services, TRUA (Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance) recipients, and those living in affordable housing.  

HOST will be reaching out to neighborhood organizations and working with City Council to gather feedback from residents from all walks of life throughout our city. 

Stay Informed & Get Involved

Stay Informed

Sign up for our newsletter to get updates on the strategic planning process and to be the first to know when opportunities for input and feedback are scheduled near you.  

Get Involved

Beginning summer 2021, HOST will survey residents throughout the Denver community.

What we want to hear from you: 

1. What supports and services help people stay in their homes

2. How we can best aid those experiencing homelessness

3. What people need to transition back into housing successfully

We want to hear how we can help better prevent involuntary displacement, how we can best integrate affordable housing into neighborhoods throughout the city, and how we can help make homelessness rare and short-term.