The Housing & Human Services Department (HHS) strives to enable all Boulder community members to thrive. HHS provides services and investments in community projects so everyone can experience Boulder as a just, inclusive, and equitable community. HHS commits to achieving this mission by building relationships with those served, fostering collaborative partnerships, addressing systemic inequities, investing in and implementing effective, sustainable and solution-based policies and programs, and by creating and preserving a diversity of housing options.
HHS strategic goals are: 1) affordability, enabling diverse community members to be able to afford to live in Boulder; and 2) inclusivity, fostering a safe and welcoming environment for all Boulder community members. Throughout the past few years, HHS has deepened and expanded its services and investments to meet the unique needs of low-income community members and others who have experienced socio-economic and health disparities. Key activities include direct assistance and programming for older adults, youth and families, mental and behavioral health services, rental assistance and eviction prevention, community mediation, support for a wide variety of sheltering, case management and housing programs for people experiencing homelessness, affordable housing and homeownership programs, and investments in a wide range of health equity, human services and substance use prevention programs.
Operating Budget (FY2022-24)
Provides oversight of the department work programs, policy development and implementation, strategic and community planning, implementation of Housing initiatives, Human Services and Homelessness Strategies, regional partnership development and coordination, finance and budget oversight, data management, and public communications.
Leads initiatives to address community housing needs, social policy and equity issues through: community and stakeholder engagement; supportive policy, market and data analysis; development of effective policies and programs; identification and creation of effective social response systems, and oversees development and implementation of Housing Strategies. Coordinates with other city departments, community organizations and partners to implement city programs, policies and regulations including the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, and the Boulder County Regional Housing Partnership. The team establishes and monitors appropriate metrics to measure program success and effectiveness. The team also staffs the Housing Advisory Board.
The Behavioral Health Response program is comprised of Behavioral Health Strategy Partnerships including the county-wide Behavioral Health Roadmap and support for the Regional Opioid Council; the Crisis Intervention and Response Team (CIRT); and a new pilot program for 2023 to support non-law enforcement alternative response, called Community Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE), for a subset of low-level emergency and non-emergency calls. Collectively, these strategies and services are designed to decrease trauma and unnecessary engagement with the criminal justice system and to increase mental well-being among Boulder community members in need.
Community Investment and Compliance staff work to provide millions of dollars annually, technical assistance, and compliance monitoring to housing partners and community-serving agencies. Staff manage all US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulatory compliance, reporting, planning, and Annual Action Plan submittal. This team works with the Home Investment Partnerships Grant (HOME) local Consortium to allocate annual HOME funding across Boulder and Broomfield counties and is also charged with ensuring all environmental review is completed for all projects funded through federal funding. Local and federal funds including the Affordable Housing Fund help create and preserve affordable housing; federal community development funding facilitates capital improvements to community facilities and supports programs serving low- and moderate-income community members. Grants from the Human Services Fund, Health Equity Fund, Substance Education and Awareness Fund and Human Relations Fund collectively support roughly 100 community programs including those providing health and wellness services, increasing food security and nutrition, childcare and academic assistance, cultural engagement and education, and substance use prevention.
Community Mediation and Resolution assists community members with a range of conflict resolution services with special emphasis on housing-related matters. Services include the Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Services program (EPRAS), mediation, restorative justice, meeting facilitation, and landlord-tenant information and resources. In addition to direct services by staff, this team collaborates with nonprofit legal consultants and restorative justice volunteers, and coordinates and serves a Tenant Advisory Committee. Staff also administer the Food Tax Rebate program; a rebate on municipal sales tax on food items to income-qualified individuals and families living in the city.
Community Relations staff provide resources, guidance and assistance to community members experiencing discrimination or otherwise concerned with human rights. This includes enforcement of the municipal Human Rights Ordinance and the Failure to Pay Wages Ordinance, and collaborating closely with the Community Mediation and Resolution program and other HHS staff to help low-income and diverse community members resolve conflict. Staff also support to the Human Relations Commission, charged with identifying and addressing human relations issues and social problems, fostering positive community relations and protecting human rights, and making social policy recommendations to City Council.
Family Services includes the Child Care Subsidy Program (CCS), subsidies to support childcare providers in offering financial assistance to low- and lower- middle-income families for quality, affordable childcare, and Family Resource Schools (FRS), a partnership with the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) to provide outreach, direct services and referrals for families and children to remove academic and non-academic barriers to success in five Boulder elementary schools. Family Services promotes youth leadership development and civic engagement through the Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) and the Youth Opportunities Advisory Board (YOAB), which advises the city on youth-related issues in the community.
Homelessness Services supports a variety of interventions to transition community members from homelessness to housing. Homelessness Services creates programming and partners with other city, regional and nonprofit agencies to provide programs addressing the needs of underserved and vulnerable community members experiencing homelessness. These activities include targeted and coordinated outreach and engagement, finding unique housing solutions for high system utilizers, mitigating of the impacts of encampments within public spaces, providing critical weather sheltering, and connecting unhoused persons with mental and behavioral health treatment. Key initiatives include support of sheltering options for people experiencing homelessness; management of a local vouchering program; creation of coordinated service hubs including a Homelessness Day Services Center and a respite center; and providing housing retention and peer support services to recently housed formerly unhoused community members.
Older Adult Services (OAS) provides programs and services to adults age 60+ at the East and West Age Well Centers which include program content such as health and wellness, fitness, lifelong learning and social programs, day trips, and educational programs. Other services are resource and referral to community services, and short-term case management with financial assistance for basic needs to older adults with lower incomes. OAS is part of the Regional Aging Network which is a countywide collaboration with other governmental older adult services to plan, coordinate and evaluate services for older adults. OAS has an Age Well Advisory Committee that advises OAS staff on programs related to older adults. The West Age Well Center is the location for the congregate meal site for Boulder through Meals on Wheels Boulder’s Eat Well Café.