At DSS, we envision a community where real estate is more than just a tool for profit.  We envision real estate, and shared spaces specifically, as a tool for people to create a sense of place, work better together, and make a positive impact on our community.  We strive to align our programs with this vision.  As such, we take an active role in policy advocacy at the City and State levels in support of this work.

We are excited to announce a new blog series from guest blogger Karly Malpiede Andrus that will keep us dialed into the complex, and at times overwhelming, world of politics.  This new series, Policy Bits, is intended to keep us in the loop on specific policy developments that impact the field of social purpose real estate.  These Bits range from high-level federal news down to specific issues impacting local municipalities. Thank you to Karly for distilling the big picture and focusing us in on the highlights each week.


Policy Bits ~ 3 Things to Know & Watch This Week

Karly Malpiede Andrus


I.  Government Funding Approved Through December 11; Major Hurdles Ahead


A short term Continuing Resolution (CR) began October 1 and will end December 11, 2015. Although it was a “clean” bill it results in a small decrease in funding as it abides by the Sequester caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA), not the two year time out bill from those levels which expires after FY 2015. Among other things, the debt ceiling needs to be raised, a long term funding bill, and large items like transportation funding, tax extenders and entitlement solvency must be addressed in the near future.

The continued funding of the government at needed level is critical to grants, programs and tax credit funding we rely on to create housing. Not to mention the devastating effects being removed from assistance can have on individuals and families; including the lack of a paycheck has on public servants.

II. Denver Police Won’t Enforce City Panhandling Ban After Recent Court Ruling

After Grand Junction’s ban on panhandling was overturned in federal district court last week Chief White instructed his officers not to enforce the City’s ban for fear of violating the ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged Grand Junction’s ban on First amendment basis. The case focuses primarily of passive panhandlers, those not acting aggressively or in any way limiting others access, or violating any additional laws.

The ruling has ramifications throughout Colorado as many localities have similar bans; Colorado Springs and Boulder have also stopped enforcement while they consider changes to current codes.

III. Lakewood’s Unique Opportunity To Develop a New TOD Neighborhood

Lakewood has a unique opportunity to guide development of federally owned land to become a new neighborhood, achieving a long-standing community vision. The land lies next to the existing Federal Center W Line station.

This step towards sustainable development and community led visioning is directly related to the transit oriented communities work that RTD, MHC and ULC among others advocated.