Governor Polis Joins Secretary Fudge, Chairwoman Waters, Mayors to Announce American Rescue Plan Relief for Homelessness

Friday, April 23, 2021

DENVER - Today, Governor Jared Polis joined U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge to discuss how the American Rescue Plan will deliver immediate and long-term relief to Coloradans experiencing homelessness. Governor Polis was also joined by House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed. 

“So many people have endured a tremendous amount of hardship this year, some people even lost their homes. As Colorado builds back stronger from this pandemic, it’s critical that everyone in our state and nation has the opportunity to call a place home,” said Governor Jared Polis. “These funds from the American Rescue Plan will offer direct, immediate results and pave the way for long-term solutions to end homelessness. I thank the Biden-Harris administration and Secretary Fudge for their efforts to deliver relief when Coloradans, and all of America, need it most.” 

Nearly $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will go to help communities across the country create affordable housing and services for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. These supplemental funds, known as HOME-ARP, give states the ability to tailor their approach to solving homeless by creating long-term solutions like affordable housing and also delivering short-term, immediate relief including tenant-based rental assistance and supportive services.

"The mission in DOLA's Division of Housing to ensure every Coloradan has the opportunity for safe and secure housing is more important than ever, and we are dedicated to collaborating with our local partners in using these federal resources to tackle the complex issue of homelessness in our great state," said Department of Local Affairs Executive Director Rick M. Garcia. "From the work of our State Housing Board to fund record amounts of affordable housing to tools like our Office of Homeless Initiatives' Make Homelessness History Playbook, we have the methods to leverage this relief to help house many struggling Coloradans."

Colorado is set to receive over $67 million in HOME-ARP funding, with $24.7 million going directly to the state’s Division of Housing. These funds will be delivered across the state and directly to cities and counties including Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Adams County, Jefferson County, and others. 

“Supporting our neighbors experiencing homelessness has been a top priority for Denver throughout the pandemic,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Building back better means providing housing stability for those families who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and those who are in need a home. The American Rescue Plan will provide vital relief that we can leverage to support and enhance existing programs to lift people out of homelessness.”

“Since I was a kid, I have done extensive work with individuals experiencing homelessness. From volunteering with food pantries and other organizations, to providing support as a legislator to people in my community either experiencing homelessness or on the brink of losing their homes, I know how devastating it can be,” said Senator James Coleman (D-Denver). “I am so pleased that the American Rescue Plan will afford countless Coloradans the ability to stay in their homes or find homes; this is a humanitarian crisis and calls for a humanitarian response.”

“I have a visceral understanding of what it’s like to be unhoused because I was a homeless teenager, sleeping many nights mere blocks away from the capitol building in which I now serve,” said State Representative Dominique Jackson (D-Aurora). “That lived experience drives the work I champion in the legislature every day. But we can’t do it alone. The American Rescue Plan will make a huge difference to the women, men and children experiencing homelessness, or who are otherwise at risk, and I am thrilled we will have more resources to tackle the devastating consequences associated with not having a place to live.” 

“As an organization committed to lasting solutions for homelessness, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is encouraged that the new HOME funds from the American Rescue Act will resolve homelessness for thousands of people across the state by providing necessary housing, shelter, and services. When we make meaningful investments in housing and services, we can resolve homelessness,” said Cathy Alderman, Chief Communications and Policy Officer for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. 

Cris White, executive director and CEO of Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) said, “The need for affordable housing is at a critical time in Colorado and nationwide. Ensuring Coloradans have access to an affordable place to live is key to the health, safety, and well-being of families and communities. These HOME funds will help ensure that more housing is developed and preserved across our state. CHFA values our partnership with the Colorado Division of Housing and we look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that together we support all Coloradans in having the opportunity for housing stability and economic prosperity.”

To view a complete list of the HOME-ARP Supplemental Allocations, click here