Ballot Measure 2B Is Denver’s Plan to Reduce Homelessness
Ballot measure 2B will make critical investments to help individuals experiencing homelessness get back on their feet, find housing and employment, and access critical medical, behavioral and drug treatment programs. This ballot measure will advance Denver’s goals for a healthy, safe, and equitable city.
Ballot measure 2B will fund resources, support services, and housing for individuals and families who have experienced a loss of stable housing. This ballot measure will fund three primary strategies to reduce homelessness.
- Build supportive housing and expand rental assistance in Denver. This funding will allow Denver to build 1,800 homes with supportive services over the next ten years. This housing will help transition people into housing from shelters or unsheltered living situations, and provide services like employment counseling or behavioral health care.
- Increase the number of available shelter beds in Denver. Additional shelters will improve access for underserved populations and provide services such as coronavirus prevention, mental health care, housing and employment counseling, and substance misuse treatment.
- Provide funding for innovative programs. These services include expanding the use of tiny homes, hiring street outreach workers, providing medical, behavioral, and drug treatment programs, and services to reach and help individuals who are unsheltered.
The need for dedicated, additional funding to address homelessness has become more critical due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Existing shelter capacity in Denver has been reduced by 1,200 beds since March 2020 due to social distancing guidance. As our economy remains in a recession, tens of thousands of Denver residents are out of work or at risk of unemployment and vulnerable to eviction due to rent burden.
Ballot measure 2B will provide sustainable funding for these interventions through an increase in the city’s sales tax of 0.25%, or 2.5 cents on a $10 dollar purchase. The sales tax increase will not be collected on food for home consumption, water, fuel, medical supplies or feminine hygiene products.
Ballot measure 2B is expected to raise up to $40 million in the first year, which will be administered by the Denver Department of Housing Stability and invested in community-based providers. This ballot measure requires transparent and inclusive planning and public reporting, including oversight from an advisory board and City Council approval of budgets and plans.