From the Denver Housing Authority's press release:
The Denver Housing Authority (DHA) is partnering with University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) and Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) to help residents, DHA employees, and college students looking for housing and jobs in the downtown area.
The organizations signed Memorandums of Understanding that commits each organization to working together to find collectively beneficial opportunities in education, workforce development, and housing that will benefit Denver residents. The Community College of Denver is also talking to DHA about joining the effort. The three higher education institutions reside on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver, enrolling approximately 40,000 students each year altogether.
“The universities that make up the Auraria Campus are DHA neighbors,” said David Nisivoccia, Chief Executive Officer of DHA. “We see this as an opportunity to collaborate and connect our populations to a variety of opportunities.”
The groups have already started to work on:
- Communicating the many educational options available to low-income residents to complete their degrees or begin their higher education journey.
- Exploring how to create better access with less red tape to work force and job training programs that already exist.
- Brainstorming new programs based on needs communicated from the community.
- Developing potential internship and experiential learning opportunities.
- Expanding affordable housing options in Denver.
“As Colorado’s only public urban research university, we take our role as an anchor institution dedicated to supporting students and the needs of our city and its communities very seriously,” said Anthony E. Graves, CU Denver’s Managing Director of Partnerships, and Innovation. “With this commitment in mind and our aim to create an open innovation district in downtown Denver, we feel a responsibility to work collaboratively with DHA and our neighbors to be strategic about creating affordable and accessible housing options for our students, faculty, and staff. We are all in this together. Affordable student and workforce housing are critical ingredients to making Denver a great place to live and work and a globally competitive hub for innovation.”
By working together, the institutions recognize that solutions are likely to be more holistic and successful.
Thomas Ragland, MSU Denver’s Associate Dean for Student Accountability and Care shared, “Our institution and campus are excited and energized by this partnership. We envision this opening more avenues for student success, stability, community engagement, and broadening MSU’s commitment and response to the housing crisis facing our city.”