On August 26, 2020, Governor Jared Polis issued Executive Order B2020 006 to establish a temporary task force with the Department of Local Affairs that examines housing instability and works to prevent evictions due to COVID-19 hardship. The goal is to develop concrete, actionable recommendations to ensure Coloradans remain stably housed in the coming months. Members will report directly to the Governor and the Executive Director of the Department of Local Affairs, and their recommendations will be due within 30 days of their first meeting.
The task force will consist of 10 individuals from diverse backgrounds spanning housing, development, advocacy, banking, and local government:
Chris Romer of Denver, Colorado
Skippy Leigh Upton Mesirow of Aspen, Colorado
Andrew Feinstein of Denver, Colorado
Rachel Friend of Boulder, Colorado
Ty L. Coleman of Alamosa, Colorado
Jennifer Kermode of Gunnison, Colorado
Jennifer Linda Rodgers of Denver, Colorado
Beatriz Gonzalez of Broomfield, Colorado
Paul Newell of Greenwood Village, Colorado
Leanne Denise Wheeler of Aurora, Colorado
These members will collaborate closely with the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, the Strategic Housing Working Group (detailed below), and the Governor’s office, and will focus on addressing landlord and tenant relations, improving methods for connecting Coloradans to key services, alleviating financial hardships facing Coloradans due to COVID-19, while boosting capacity of existing housing resources and organizations.
The economic impacts of COVID-19 have been severe and have spared few. Coloradans were forced to take drastic action back in March to reduce the spread of the virus, which included a statewide shutdown and widespread business closures. Had we not acted, tens of thousands more Coloradans would have lost their lives. It was the right decision.
Unfortunately, that necessary action to save lives came with economic consequences that have destabilized many Coloradans’ financial livelihoods.
The process of getting Coloradans back to work and stably housed is gradual and must take evolving public health conditions into account. Many Coloradans continue to experience substantial loss of income and wages as a result of business closures and layoffs, and this hinders their ability to keep up with rent payments and other bills. And at a time where the home is the safest place to be, providing housing for all must be prioritized.
It’s important to note that this task force represents only one part of the ongoing discussion. In February, the Division of Housing announced the formation of the Strategic Housing Working Group that will advise on Colorado’s affordable housing needs and will bring forth a comprehensive response to our long-term housing crisis.
Brendalee Connors, Development Director, Metro West Housing Solutions
Angela Hutton Hall, Managing Broker City Park Realty and Attorney at Law
Jennifer Kermode, Executive Director, Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority
Beatriz Gonzalez, Vice President, Community Lending and Diverse Markets Business Development Officer, Bank of the West
Anaya Robinson, Associate Director, Atlantis Community
Jennie Rodgers, Vice President, Denver Market, Enterprise Community Partners
Steven Cordova, Executive Director, Total Concept
Doug Snyder, Senior Development Director, Volunteers of America
In response to the 2019 statewide stakeholder engagement process DOLA’s Division of Housing (DOH) held with Housing Colorado and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), DOH formed the Strategic Housing Working Group to advance and meet Colorado’s diverse affordable housing needs. The Strategic Housing Working Group will begin meeting in fall 2020 to help create and advise on strategies that elevate, act on, and maintain momentum for the creation and preservation of statewide affordable housing.
A special thank you to our partners for participating in the SHWG selection committee and supporting and informing the work of the SHWG: Housing Colorado, CHFA, the Colorado State Housing Board and DOLA’s Division of Local Government (DLG).
Housing Development Manager - closing date 9/16/2020 11:59 P.M. Mountain
This position exists to develop new funding programs and policies to meet Coloradans’ affordable housing needs and implement funding programs to ensure services and housing reach the intended recipients throughout Colorado. More information available here.