By Jamie Leary
DENVER (CBS4)– The same group that faced arrests at Sen. Cory Gardener’s office in 2017, stormed the Colorado Division of Housing Tuesday afternoon.
ADAPT, a national disability rights organization, filled the entire fifth floor of the Division of Housing Denver office.
The organization argues that the increase in housing costs have made it difficult for those with disabilities to find affordable and accessible housing.
It says this is the same reason the Community Choice Transition Program has taken a hit. The program was designed to help 225 disabled Coloradans transition from institutions to affordable housing but the program can no longer cover the cost for all who need it.
Members of ADAPT say the program has been in such high demand that it has run out of vouchers.
“This has been an ongoing discussion since last year when they asked for more housing vouchers. They got some but not enough.” Said ADAPT member Josh Winkler.
Tuesday, ADAPT asked the Division of Housing to consider increases in the affordable housing budget and after an hour of discussion, it was met with promising news.
“I do have to say, that you coming here and expressing what this need is and what your hopes are with the program, we are taking another look at that supplemental request and we’ll look at possibly increasing that request as well,” said division director Alison George.
The room erupted in cheers. Group leaders called the outcome a success and were grateful the Division of Housing choose to listen.
“We deal with some of the most resilient populations in Colorado and a lot of times people look at them as in the way or something like that and that’s not the case. We want to hear from our stakeholders and they are absolutely one of our stakeholders and I think having them in and having them be heard and not being told we’ll look at it later and addressing the actual issue is something that I think those cheers came from,” said Natriece Bryant, Chief Administrative Officer for the Department of Local Affairs.
ADAPT says it will be protesting and advocating for other concerns over the next two days.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.