Overview of the problem LIVE Denver seeks to address:
Today, a large percentage of Denver’s population is burdened by the high cost of housing, especially renters who make up the core of our workforce: teachers, nurses, medical technicians, customer service representatives, front-line supervisors and entry-level tech workers on the cutting edge of innovation. As Denver continues to grow, housing has become less affordable for our workforce families and individuals. In 2017 alone, the cost of housing rose by 9% and, over the past four years, the compounded cost of housing has increased by over thirty percent far outpacing wage growth in a city with very low unemployment and high workforce participation.
Currently in Denver, the largest rental-housing inventory exists for the highest income levels while the lowest available inventory exists for low to moderate income individuals and families. This is a problem that the City has partnered to address through The Lower Income Voucher Equity Program (LIVE).
LIVE will create immediate affordable housing options by connecting vacant market rate units with our workforce and bridge the gap in rent through funds provided by The City and County of Denver (“City”), foundations and employers.
In the 2017 State of the City Address, Mayor Hancock called out the need for programmatic tools to increase housing and opportunities for all Denverites. One of these tools is the The LIVE Denver pilot program, which targets Residents who earn between 40% ($23,520 for an individual or $33,560 for a family of four) to 80% ($47,040 for an individual or $67,120 for a family of four) of Area Median Income (AMI). More than 52,000 households in Denver have a household income within this targeted income range. Approximately 13,000 renters within this population are severely burdened by the cost of housing, meaning they pay more than 50% of their income on housing costs.
This program is one of the programmatic elements of Housing an Inclusive Denver, the five year housing plan for the City and County of Denver. To learn more about the plan, please Click Here.