By The G.E.S. Gazette staff
Mayor Michael Hancock recently announced Britta Fisher will step down from her role as Denver’s chief housing officer following her selection as the next president and chief executive officer for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
Fisher was selected in 2018 as the first executive director of the newly formed Department of Housing Stability (HOST).
“When we needed a new approach, and an elevated understanding that housing and supportive services were core services we as a city need to provide for, Britta led the charge with determination and innovation,” Hancock said. “Our housing and homelessness efforts, as a city and as a community, would not be where they are today had she not stepped forward to serve.”
As chief housing officer, Fisher oversaw the creation of HOST and the development of its staff and programs. HOST invests resources, creates policy and partners with other agencies to provide housing stability, resolve episodes of homelessness and create housing opportunities.
During Fisher’s tenure, the Hancock administration’s Affordable Housing Fund, created in partnership with the City Council, doubled to more than $30 million annually; voters approved the Homelessness Resolution Fund, which generates $40 million annually; and $38 million in 2021 General Obligation Bonds for shelters, including new youth and family shelters, was approved by voters. Over the course of the Hancock administration, more than 13,000 Denver residents experiencing homelessness have been connected to housing.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Denver and a joy to build a team with such dedication and passion and a department envisioned by Mayor Hancock to deliver housing stability to thousands of residents,” Fisher said. “To support our community and advance the mayor’s commitment to creating a more accessible and affordable Denver will forever be a highlight of my career. In my new role, I look forward to continuing the partnership between the city and the coalition to serve our unhoused residents.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fisher led the city’s shelter system into a majority residential shelter with 24/7 service.
Since March 2020, HOST and its partners have served more than 16,000 people in shelters, more than 4,500 with street outreach and more than 36,000 households in housing programs. In addition, the city has innovated with new shelter alternatives like Safe Outdoor Spaces and support for direct assistance, like the Denver Basic Income Project.
Fisher focused on housing with supportive services as the solution to homelessness. She oversaw the Denver Housing Authority Delivers for Denver (D3) intergovernmental agreement, which provides funds to produce 2,500 affordable homes faster. Partners funded by HOST created 409 apartment homes with supportive services and a development pipeline of 1,500 more, according to the city.