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Denver’s ‘housing czar,’ tasked with tackling city’s affordable housing woes, quits

Author: Adam McCoy - February 15, 2018 - Updated: February 15, 2018


Erik Soliván’s expertise was going to bring a fresh perspective to the city’s approach to the affordable housing crisis, Mayor Michael Hancock said one year ago.

Soliván took over at the helm at Denver’s new Office of Housing and Opportunities for People Everywhere or HOPE just over a year ago, but the city leader often referred to as the “housing czar” is now out, 9news reports.

In his letter of resignation obtained by 9news and dated Feb 12, Soliván articulates the progress made in Denver, but doesn’t detail why he’s leaving the agency.

“A strategy for looking at housing as a single continuum from homelessness to homeownership was launched, an innovative program that brought foundations, employers and the city – LIVE Denver – was created and announced, a successful eviction diversion mediation program was collaboratively designed with the Courts and implemented, a comprehensive Tenant-Landlord Guide was produced, published and announced, and a five year-housing plan, with unanimous consent of the Housing Advisory Committee, laid a platform for implementing the strategy and changing the city’s approach to these pressing issues,” Soliván said in the letter.

Soliván does however note a reorganization within the Office of Economic Development. As the Denver Business Journal reported on Monday, Denver has started a search for a “chief housing officer” as part of the reorganization.

The new post — which will be responsible for managing a $20 million budget and providing leadership on affordable housing — was created to counter “the booming population and increasing focus on the affordable housing needs of Denver residents.”

“I support the reorganization of the Office of Economic Development, and it will better position the city to tackle complex issues, execute, and support initiatives,” Soliván noted in his resignation letter.

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy covers Denver-area politics for Colorado Politics.