DenverNews

Denver Mayor Hancock unveils 2019 proposed budget, outlines priorities

Author: 9News - September 14, 2018 - Updated: September 14, 2018

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By Philip Maravilla, KUSA-9News

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock presents his 2019 budget proposal at the Denver City & County Building on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. (KUSA-9News, Denver)

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock presented his 2019 budget proposal on Thursday. The proposed $1.46 billion general fund plan prioritizes social services and safety net programs in an effort to make Denver a more affordable and equitable place to live.

“I believe our progress as a city must be measured by the intangibles, by what changes lives and builds people up, like access to opportunity and equity in our communities,” Hancock said in a news conference at the City and County Building to announce the plan.

The 588-page budget proposal lists 2019 policy priorities that address many of the challenges Denver faces as it grows rapidly and becomes a more expensive and crowded place to live.

Among the priorities are:

  • Expanding Affordable Housing & Homeless Services
  • Protecting Denver’s Unique Neighborhoods
  • Improving Transportation and Mobility
  • Keeping Denver a Safe Big City
  • Bolstering Mental Health Services and Addressing Substance Misuse

The mayor touted a record $50 million funding for affordable housing, achieved by harnessing marijuana tax revenue. In 2019, $10 million of the Affordable Housing Fund will go to support people experiencing homelessness. The plan calls for creating or preserving 6,000 housing units over the next five years.

“There are unprecedented demands that have been placed on our city with the need for affordable housing,” Hancock said. “This unprecedented investment in affordable housing is in lockstep with what is needed for us to try to meet the needs and the demands of the people who live in this city and who desire to live in this city.”

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KUSA-9News in Denver is the television news partner of Colorado Politics.