Sep 7, 2016

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Recent articles

CCLP’s 2024 legislative wrap-up, part 2

CCLP's 2024 legislative wrap-up focused on expanding access to justice, removing administrative burden, supporting progressive tax and wage policies, preserving affordable communities, and reducing health care costs. Part 2/2.

CCLP’s 2024 legislative wrap-up, part 1

CCLP's 2024 legislative wrap-up focused on expanding access to justice, removing administrative burden, supporting progressive tax and wage policies, preserving affordable communities, and reducing health care costs.

CCLP testifies in support of Clean Slate updates

Bethany Pray, CCLP’s Chief Legal and Policy Officer, provided testimony in support of House Bill 24-1133, Criminal Record Sealing & Expungement Changes. CCLP is in support of HB24-1133, as it is one of our priority bills.

MHC Updates

by | Sep 7, 2016

Affordable Housing & Community Facilities

Affordable Housing Revenue Fund
The City of Denver’s proposed Affordable Housing Revenue Fund has taken a major step forward. The proposal, estimated to provide $156 million in revenue over its first 10 years, passed unanimously thru City Council Committee on August 24th by unanimous vote and is headed to the full City Council floor. The proposal will be heard by the full City Council on September 12th. The final vote and 1 hour of public comment will occur on September 19th at 5:30 pm. MHC and many of its Steering Committee partners have been actively engaged in this 18 month process, working with the City to establish this much needed resource as well as the governance and eligible uses of its resources. Denver Residents are encouraged to sign an endorsement letter created by the city and/or leave feedback for the city on the housing proposal using this link.

Recent updates to the Fund:
· Mayor Hancock has committed to using $5 million from the general fund in the first year to ensure a full $15 million of available funds.
· ADU’s and other additions under 400 sq. ft. are exempted from the development fee


2016 Grantees

Our June 2016 grant cycle was the most competitive to date with 21 applications from groups and organizations throughout the Denver Region. After sharing back the information gleaned from site visits and engaging in robust discussions, the MHC Grant Fund Committee chose to fund 10 organizations, including an emerging resident group from Lakewood. MHC is excited to announce the 2016 grantees:

Cultivando (formerly Community Enterprise) | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: Cultivando will focus on a promotora-led community education, engagement, and collective advocacy on affordable housing, gentrification, accessible/affordable transit and community-driven policies that protect low-income families from displacement. They will work with agency partners and community members to amplify community-driven policy solutions to the complex problems of affordable housing.

Colorado Jobs with Justice | Grant Amount: $25,000

Project Description: Colorado Jobs with Justice will build on the grassroots organizing that they initiated with their coalition members last year for an income-based fare and pass program. They will also build the capacity of their members to speak and take on leadership roles within the work and integrate the work into their Fair Chance and Caring Across Generations Campaign to engage formerly incarcerated individuals, elderly, disabled, and home care providers.

Colorado People’s Alliance (formerly Rights for All People) | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: Colorado People’s Alliance will continue their work on the income-based pass, 50% discount for those living at or below 150% of the poverty level. They also will lead the work on protecting critical bus routes in Original Aurora. And given their transition from Rights for All People to COPA, they will work to connect the transit work to the larger strategies aimed at the economy.

Colorado Cross Disability Coalition | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: Colorado Cross Disability Coalition will continue their data-driven transportation focused advocacy for people with disabilities. This includes training current advocates and community outreach to secure positions for people with disabilities in decision-making spaces on policies.

GES Right to Live Well | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: GES Right to Live Well will convene a collaborative, GES Development without Displacement Nonprofit Coalition, which is comprised of GES community leaders, allies, and stakeholders to launch a GES-based Housing Campaign and Resident Leadership Organizing Committee. The Committee will build community owned solutions centered on the most critical issues identified by GES neighbors: affordable housing, affordable transportation, and protection of the unique community.

Growing Home | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: Growing Home will continue to implement its Bocks of Hope project with the leadership of its community organizer. It will expand outreach to the community to address changes due to the TOD and resulting impacts on the local housing market.

Los Gables (resident group) | Grant Amount: $10,000

Project Description: Veronica Jimenez, Guadalupe Gonzales, and Yolanda Hernandez propose to engage residents/mothers from the Gables Zone in advocating for bus stops and increased bus frequency in the neighborhood.

Montbello Organizing Committee | Grant Amount: $20,000

Project Description: Montbello Organizing Committee will continue to ensure that Montbello residents have access to transit offerings that connect them to housing, healthy food, education, and jobs.

Project VOYCE | Grant Amount: $22,000

Project Description: Project VOYCE will initiative a youth Block Captain leadership development and community organizing project in GES to develop a campaign focused on improving access to affordable housing, affordable and equitable transportation access, development, and community renewal.

Streetsblog Denver | Grant Amount: $16,540

Project Description: Through a part-time reporter Streetsblog Denver will expand its focus on transit issues, including housing, workforce, and equity as well as research and write longer, more investigative pieces on transit and Denver’s growth.


First & Last Mile Connections

Broadway Bikeway
On August 15, the City and County of Denver opened a two-way parking protected bikeway between Virginia and Bayaud on Broadway. The opening of the Broadway Bikeway demonstration project is the culmination of an extensive planning and public engagement process. It will be open for three months and will provide data about multi-modal operations on this vital transportation route that will inform the development of permanent protected bike lanes. This is a critical link to downtown for bicycle commuters and serves as a connection to the Alameda Light Rail Station. Cyclists are encouraged to ride the bikeway and provide feedback to the City by completing the survey at denvermovesbroadway.com/survey. For more information about the project visit denvermovesbroadway.com.

Denveright
Denveright is an effort by the City and County of Denver to comprehensively plan its future through a community-driven process. It consists of four integrated plans.

• Blueprint Denver – Blueprint promotes urban design goals that result in a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly environment, increased transit service on major corridors, shared parking in business districts and more housing in mixed-use areas. This update will continue the work that began 15 years ago with the original Blueprint and help the City meet changing demands and conditions.
• Parks Game Plan – The Game Plan emphasizes the vision of “a city in a park” and a set of core values: the environment, engagement, equity and sound economics. It focuses on providing quality recreational amenities citywide, especially in the neighborhoods that need them most. The plan revision will define new parks and recreation centers, relevant programs, and how existing assets are maintained and enhanced in the face of financial constraints, climate change, shifting demographics and increased use.
• Denver Moves: Pedestrians and Trails – This plan will help make walking a viable primary way for people to get around comfortably and safely. With guidance and input from the community, the plan will identify citywide needs and define priorities for improving and connecting Denver’s pedestrian and off-street trail network. It also will examine costs, funding options and policies required to achieve the community’s vision.
• Denver Moves: Transit – For the first time, and with input from the community, Denver is planning for local transit choices and improvements to move people around town safely and reliably. This plan will create a local vision that will build on and complement RTD’s regional system. It also will take a closer look at implementation strategies and funding options for local transit improvements.

Mile High Connects serves on Blueprint Denver task forces and the two Denver Moves task forces. Denveright provides an important opportunity to shape the future of the City and ensure opportunity for everyone who lives and works here. There will be a series of surveys that provide opportunities for input by the entire community. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to learn more about Denveright and provide their opinions here.

Recent articles

CCLP’s 2024 legislative wrap-up, part 2

CCLP's 2024 legislative wrap-up focused on expanding access to justice, removing administrative burden, supporting progressive tax and wage policies, preserving affordable communities, and reducing health care costs. Part 2/2.

CCLP’s 2024 legislative wrap-up, part 1

CCLP's 2024 legislative wrap-up focused on expanding access to justice, removing administrative burden, supporting progressive tax and wage policies, preserving affordable communities, and reducing health care costs.

CCLP testifies in support of Clean Slate updates

Bethany Pray, CCLP’s Chief Legal and Policy Officer, provided testimony in support of House Bill 24-1133, Criminal Record Sealing & Expungement Changes. CCLP is in support of HB24-1133, as it is one of our priority bills.

HEALTH:
HEALTH FIRST COLORADO (MEDICAID)

To maintain health and well-being, people of all ages need access to quality health care that improves outcomes and reduces costs for the community. Health First Colorado, the state's Medicaid program, is public health insurance for low-income Coloradans who qualify. The program is funded jointly by a federal-state partnership and is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.

Benefits of the program include behavioral health, dental services, emergency care, family planning services, hospitalization, laboratory services, maternity care, newborn care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, preventive and wellness services, primary care and rehabilitative services.

In tandem with the Affordable Care Act, Colorado expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2013 - providing hundreds of thousands of adults with incomes less than 133% FPL with health insurance for the first time increasing the health and economic well-being of these Coloradans. Most of the money for newly eligible Medicaid clients has been covered by the federal government, which will gradually decrease its contribution to 90% by 2020.

Other populations eligible for Medicaid include children, who qualify with income up to 142% FPL, pregnant women with household income under 195% FPL, and adults with dependent children with household income under 68% FPL.

Some analyses indicate that Colorado's investment in Medicaid will pay off in the long run by reducing spending on programs for the uninsured.

FOOD SECURITY:
SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)

Hunger, though often invisible, affects everyone. It impacts people's physical, mental and emotional health and can be a culprit of obesity, depression, acute and chronic illnesses and other preventable medical conditions. Hunger also hinders education and productivity, not only stunting a child's overall well-being and academic achievement, but consuming an adult's ability to be a focused, industrious member of society. Even those who have never worried about having enough food experience the ripple effects of hunger, which seeps into our communities and erodes our state's economy.

Community resources like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, exist to ensure that families and individuals can purchase groceries, with the average benefit being about $1.40 per meal, per person.

Funding for SNAP comes from the USDA, but the administrative costs are split between local, state, and federal governments. Yet, the lack of investment in a strong, effective SNAP program impedes Colorado's progress in becoming the healthiest state in the nation and providing a better, brighter future for all. Indeed, Colorado ranks 44th in the nation for access to SNAP and lost out on more than $261 million in grocery sales due to a large access gap in SNAP enrollment.

See the Food Assistance (SNAP) Benefit Calculator to get an estimate of your eligibility for food benefits.

FOOD SECURITY:
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN (WIC)

Every child deserves the nutritional resources needed to get a healthy start on life both inside and outside the mother's womb. In particular, good nutrition and health care is critical for establishing a strong foundation that could affect a child's future physical and mental health, academic achievement and economic productivity. Likewise, the inability to access good nutrition and health care endangers the very integrity of that foundation.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition information for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Research has shown that WIC has played an important role in improving birth outcomes and containing health care costs, resulting in longer pregnancies, fewer infant deaths, a greater likelihood of receiving prenatal care, improved infant-feeding practices, and immunization rates

Financial Security:
Colorado Works

In building a foundation for self-sufficiency, some Colorado families need some extra tools to ensure they can weather challenging financial circumstances and obtain basic resources to help them and their communities reach their potential.

Colorado Works is Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and provides public assistance to families in need. The Colorado Works program is designed to assist participants in becoming self-sufficient by strengthening the economic and social stability of families. The program provides monthly cash assistance and support services to eligible Colorado families.

The program is primarily funded by a federal block grant to the state. Counties also contribute about 20% of the cost.

EARLY LEARNING:
COLORADO CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CCCAP)

Child care is a must for working families. Along with ensuring that parents can work or obtain job skills training to improve their families' economic security, studies show that quality child care improves children's academic performance, career development and health outcomes.

Yet despite these proven benefits, low-income families often struggle with the cost of child care. Colorado ranks among the top 10 most expensive states in the country for center-based child care. For families with an infant, full-time enrollment at a child care center cost an average of $15,140 a year-or about three-quarters of the total income of a family of three living at the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) provides child care assistance to parents who are working, searching for employment or participating in training, and parents who are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program and need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency. Most of the money for CCCAP comes from the federal Child Care and Development Fund. Each county can set their own income eligibility limit as long as it is at or above 165% of the federal poverty level and does not exceed 85% of area median income.

Unfortunately, while the need is growing, only an estimated one-quarter of all eligible children in the state are served by CCCAP. Low reimbursement rates have also resulted in fewer providers willing to accept CCCAP subsidies.