Mike Johnston’s first Denver budget sheds light on how much micro communities, other homeless efforts will cost

Under mayor’s proposal, nearly $40 million would go to continue short-term unhoused plan in 2024

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston unveiled his first city budget since at the Denver City and County building library room in Denver on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023.
Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

Denver now knows how much Mayor Mike Johnston plans to spend this fall and next year on his ambitious effort to offer shelter rapidly to potentially thousands of people living on the city’s streets.

When Johnston unveiled his proposed 2024 budget Thursday, affordable housing and homelessness resolution and prevention were at the forefront, adding up to $242 million next year.

Much of that money will replenish existing city-funded programs, but a healthy chunk will pay for a rehousing initiative he has launched since taking office in July. The mayor’s goal through the end of this year, at a cost of nearly $49 million, is to move 1,000 people into temporary or permanent accommodations, including converted hotels and a network of micro communities set up on parking lots or vacant land.

Next year’s proposed budget includes a $40 million allocation that could help 1,000 additional people get sheltered or stay off the streets, a doubling-down on the initial effort.

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