From case management to crisis intervention, investments to eviction prevention, homeless services to affordable housing, Housing and Human Services connects people to the services they need to thrive.
In 2023, the city’s Housing and Human Services Department (HHS) continued its mission to foster a just, inclusive and equitable community. From case management to crisis intervention; investments to eviction prevention; homeless services to affordable housing; the HHS team helped provide resources and connect people to services, so they have what they need to thrive.
Last year, HHS made a big impact as many community members experienced a greater level of need due to higher costs of housing, food and other household expenses. This work supported basic needs, helped people become more self-sufficient, made a positive difference in the community and helped advance the city’s equity goals.
Increased economic support for low-income community members through rebates, grants and a guaranteed income pilot program.
- Over 1,000 households received a food tax rebate to help compensate residents with lower incomes for the city sales tax they pay on food.
- The city launched a new grant program that will fund repairs to manufactured homes damaged by hurricane-level winds during the Marshall Fire in December 2021. Repairs will make homes more energy efficient and resilient to extreme weather.
- Elevate Boulder, the city’s guaranteed income pilot program, selected 200 low-income Boulder households to receive $500 per month in direct cash assistance for two years, no strings attached. Participants begin receiving payments in January 2024.
Developed a new opportunity to support aspiring middle-income homeowners and continued to help prevent evictions for renters in Boulder.
- The Middle Income Down Payment Assistance Pilot Program offers middle-income households a zero-interest second mortgage up to $200,000 or 30% of the home’s sale price, whichever is less. In exchange for this assistance, the home will become permanently affordable.
- The Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Services Program (EPRAS) assisted 809 community members in 2023 through legal services, rental assistance, mediation and resource referrals. An average of $2,095 in rental assistance was distributed to 175 households.
Expanded options for how the city responds to 911 calls and better allocates first responder resources.
- In December, the city launched the Community Assistance Response and Engagement pilot. The program enables behavioral health clinicians, case managers and paramedics to respond to public safety calls that are not criminal in nature, do not present safety concerns and may be more appropriate for health professionals.
Expanded opportunities for older adults and youth to engage with each other and the community.
- The city re-activated the Youth Opportunities Internship Program after a two-year hiatus. In summer 2023, 10 youth interns worked with various city departments to gain experience in city government. Internships will return in summer 2024.
- The city launched the Child Friendly Cities Initiative, a partnership with UNICEF and local nonprofit agencies to identify actions and investments that will improve young people’s health and well-being.
- After several years of limited hours, the city’s Age Well Centers returned to full capacity and we created a video to celebrate all the opportunities for older community members to connect, learn, and play.
Invested in nonprofit human services, health equity and programs that serve unhoused community members.
- HHS investment programs awarded roughly $7 million in annual grants to over 100 community-based programs that provide healthy food, economic support, health services, childcare, academic support and substance use prevention.
- The city was awarded $2 million to develop a 24-hour respite center as a space where unhoused community members who are discharged from medical services can recuperate with access to mental health care and housing support services. Grant funds will be used to support staffing and operating costs.
- The city utilized millions in one-time American Rescue Plan Act funds for transformative projects in the areas of child care, behavioral health and manufactured housing ownership opportunities.
Broadened the city’s affordable housing policies and programs to increase affordable housing opportunities in Boulder.
- The 2022-2023 Inclusionary Housing update identified opportunities to increase affordable housing for middle income households. The update will go into effect on Jan. 29, 2024.
- In August, the City of Boulder, Boulder Valley School District and Flatirons Habitat for Humanity began construction on the Affordable Housing Modular Factory. The facility will produce much needed affordable housing while providing workforce training for BVSD students.
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Helped 282 unhoused individuals out of homelessness, expanded support for the city’s unhoused and newly housed community members, and worked to improve homelessness data collection.
- The city launched Building Home, a program that provides support to newly housed community members through peer interactions, daytime services and housing retention.
- In partnership with Boulder County, the city committed to establish a substance use recovery home to address the cycle of incarceration, support recovery, reduce crime and recidivism, and create a safer community for all.
- In July, the city completed its first summer Point in Time Count of individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness in the city. This effort helps to build seasonal understanding of unsheltered homelessness.
- At the City of Boulder’s request, the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and the city are working together to open a Homelessness Day Services Center at its existing overnight shelter location, 4869 Broadway St.
Promoted the rights of community members and the city’s Human Rights Ordinance through awareness campaigns. Highlights include:
- Supporting Fair and Affordable Housing in Boulder
- National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Resources for Boulder Children and Families
- Celebrating Diversity and Protecting Our Community Against Discrimination
- Protecting Employees in Boulder
- Supporting Persons with Disabilities in Boulder
- Protecting Human Rights in Boulder