BY FREDA MIKLIN
Denver U.S. Rep Diana DeGette, now in her 27th year in Congress, recently announced that 14 housing-related projects she submitted, totaling $24,247,426, were approved by the House Appropriations Committee, and will be funded as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, signed by President Biden on December 29, 2022.
Those projects are:
- $4,000,000 for Warren Village to build 74 apartments for low-income, single-parent families.
- $4,000,000 for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless to help fund the purchase of the Clarion Hotel at 200 West Warner Place and convert it into housing for homeless people.
- $4,000,000 for Regional Transportation District (RTD) to replace existing rail, switches, highblocks, concrete flatwork, and similar items associated with the rail alignment along the Central Corridor.
- $2,200,000 for Denver Health and Hospital Authority to make essential oral health and imaging services available in some of Denver’s most underserved communities.
- $2,000,000 for Servicios de La Raza to create a community center to provide low-income residents in Barnum workforce development training, certifications, financial literacy, and a variety of wraparound services.
- $2,000,000 for the City and County of Denver’s Office of Climate Action Sustainability and Resilience to electrify space and water heaters in 100 affordable housing units in Denver.
- $1,200,000 for Food Bank of the Rockies to buy coolers and freezers for fresh produce, meat, and dairy products.
- $1,000,000 for Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver to help fund the construction of six new single-family homes in Villa Park.
- $1,000,000 for Tennyson Center for Children to complete construction of the center’s new youth mental-health treatment center in North Denver.
- $750,000 for We Don’t Waste for additional space to expand their food-recovery efforts that benefit low-income families.
- $750,000 for the City and County of Denver to help construct a new 10,000-square-foot center for Denver’s youth at the Central Library to provide access to technology and various support programs.
- $750,000 for the City and County of Denver to help fund the revitalization of the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall and Transitway.
- $413,940 for Urban Peak to provide services during the construction of a new shelter for homeless youth at 1603 S. Acoma Street.
- $183,486 for Inner-City Health Center to replace old equipment in its medical and dental clinics at 3800 York Street.
At a town hall meeting on January 18, DeGette also pointed to other projects aimed at helping those experiencing homelessness for which she previously secured federal funding and are already underway. Those include $2 million to purchase and convert the Stay Inn Hotel and $3 million for Urban Peak to build a new shelter for homeless youth.
During the town hall, DeGette also shared that the Congress had approved funding for the Advanced Research Agency for Health to work on cures for cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, and that contracts for research in those areas were already being let.
On February 1, DeGette joined with U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and other Members of Congress to announce that they planned to introduce the Assault Weapons Ban Act, which would ban the sale, import, manufacture, or transfer of certain semi-automatic weapons, “including the AR-15 rifle that has been used in some of the nation’s most high-profile mass shootings.” It follows legislation DeGette introduced on January 30 to ban the sale or transfer of high-capacity gun magazines capable of holding more than 15 rounds of ammunition. It is unclear whether either of these proposed laws will gain the necessary approval to move forward.