After delay, Denver looks ready to launch rent subsidy program
Author: Adam McCoy - May 29, 2018 - Updated: May 29, 2018
Denver appears poised to roll out its rent subsidy program, boasting it as a tool for Denverites struggling with the city’s surging housing prices.
We told you in January about the Lower Income Voucher Equity program, or LIVE, Denver hopes will help fill empty apartments with Denverites who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them.
“A significant amount of our workforce in the city are at our middle and higher income levels, and they are struggling to keep up with rising housing costs,” Laura Brudzynski, a manager with the city’s Office of Economic Development, said during a Denver committee meeting Wednesday. “This workforce is our teachers, our law enforcement officers, health care workers.”
Under the pilot program, single Denver residents working full-time and earning between $25,200 to $50,350 a year and families of four making $35,960 to $71,900 a year are eligible. Those found to qualify would pay up to 35 percent of their household income on rent, and Denver would take care of the rest.
When the program was announced last year, and originally slated to launch in January, it was said to have funding for 400 participants. But that number waned to 125 after the city moved to implement the plan. LIVE will be funded by the city, employers and charitable foundations. The proposal, in which the city is on the hook for $1 million in funding for subsidies and $180,000 for administrative costs, moved through committee on Wednesday and will be considered by the full Denver City Council in June.
The city has long wrestled with affordable housing as the cost of living has soared. Denver has been working with developers to build new affordable housing units, often buying land to sell to developers interested in building affordable housing. Denver has recently extended its Rental and Utility Assistance Program, aiding Denver households experiencing a housing crisis like a rent increase or loss of a job.