Resident & Community Services General Information
The Resident & Community Services (RCS) Department offers programs and services to public housing and Section 8 residents and communities of Denver. The RCS staff is a committed group of human service professionals that endeavor to enhance the quality of life for all our residents.
Improving the quality of life for all DHA residents and neighboring communities by offering empowerment, economic opportunity, and a vibrant living environment.
Improving the quality of life for all DHA residents and neighboring communities by providing core services in self sufficiency, aging in place for the senior and disabled population, community building, and youth programming.
DHA offers Opportunity Centers
DHA’s Opportunity Centers provide economic self-sufficiency and homeownership opportunities to public housing residents of the Denver Housing Authority.
Opportunity Centers provide services for DHA residents including:
- Computer labs, job leads, resources and referrals.
- Some sites also offer classes for GED, ESL, Job Preparation, Financial Fitness, Job Clubs and physical fitness activities.
Family Self-Sufficiency Program
FSS (Family Self-Sufficiency) is a 5 year program designed to help participants achieve economic self-sufficiency goals. DHA has provided the FSS program for over 19 years and during that time participants have earned over three million dollars!
What is FSS?
The goal of the FSS program is to encourage economic self-sufficiency through employment. When a resident enters the program they sign a Contract of Participation which denotes their current income and rent. When a participant’s rent increases above this amount due to an increase in earned income the difference is deposited into an escrow account.
FSS Coordinators provide case management, referrals to outside agencies, job readiness training and assistance, and financial fitness services for low-income families living in Section 8 or Public Housing. FSS Coordinators monitor a participants’ achievements and goals and provide guidance to help them continue to progress towards self-sufficiency.
How does a participant receive funds from their escrow account?
Participants in the program must attain certain goals to graduate the program and “cash-out” the funds in their escrow. The following goals are required of all participants:
- Maintain employment at least 32-hours per week or more for at least 6 consecutive months prior to requesting a cash-out.
- Household income must be at least 150% of Federal Poverty Level.
Participant must repair credit to a self-sufficient level:
- Recommended credit score of 620 or Provide verification of three forms of non-traditional credit.
Debt Reduction that meets the following:
- Contractually obligated debts can be no more than 15% of Gross Monthly income.
- Derogatory debts are reduced by 25% of initial debt reported on credit report.
- No one in the household may receive TANF cash assistance 12 month prior to requesting cash out.
FSS Program Successes
Since the program began at DHA 394 residents have successfully completed the program and cashed out escrow funds. Several participants have earned over $35,000 in their FSS escrow account! Many FSS Program participants have gone on to purchase a home with assistance from DHA’s Homeownership Program
For more information on the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, call 720-956-3817 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or click below for an overview of the FSS programs.
The Academies to Work program provides low to moderate income individuals over the age of 18 years old in the City and County of Denver with training, support, and community resources in demand driven industries, to facilitate the achievement of a self-sufficient wage.
Empowering Residents with Jobs:
The goal of DHA’s Asset Program is to create economic self-sufficiency for public housing residents through the creation of:
- Jobs and long-term employment opportunities
- Training and educational opportunities
- Contracts and business opportunities
DHA works closely with program candidates in order to provide the following soft skills training:
- Job Readiness Training
- Resume Writing
- Interview Basics
- Barrier Assessment
DHA works with community training partners so that clients have access to the latest technologies and training. Clients are encouraged to attend ongoing training so that skills are current.
DHA works to provide the following qualified trainings:
- OSHA 10 Hour Certification
- EPA Renovator Certification
- Fall Protection & Ladder Safety
- Interior & Exterior Painting
- Maintenance Technician Training
- Certified Billing and Coding Specialist
- Customer Service
- Business of Retail
- Housing Business Professional Training
- Internet and Computer Core Academy
- Forklift Training
- Flagger Training
For more information about the program please contact 720.956.3829.
Real Goals ● Real Life ● Real Success
The Youth Employment Academy (YEA) provides mentoring, education, employment and training services which assist in addressing the educational, job readiness, and career exploration goals of low income youth between the ages of 16-21.
Some of the classes offered by YEA include reading, writing, math, technology/computer software basics, job readiness, occupational skill training, career exploration and leadership development.
YEA offers specialized academies that provide entry level training in healthcare and the culinary arts. These academies offer general overviews of demand-driven industries as well as hands-on instruction such as training in Microsoft applications. YEA also has limited paid work experiences in the summer for youth who have completed all required classes.
YEA services are open to youth ages 16-21. Support is available for youth with special learning needs.
Requirements — In order to qualify for the Youth Employment Academy, youth must be 16-21 and have the following documents:
- Photo ID (current date)
- Birth Certificate
- Signed Social Security Card
- Proof of Income for 6 months or
- Proof of TANF/Food Stamps/SSI
If you are under 18 you will need a parent/guardian signature for the application. Bring these documents with the completed application (or pick up an application) at: Connections at Mariposa, 1089 Osage Street, Denver, CO 80204.
For more information about the Youth Employment Academy, please call 720-956-3833.
DHA’s employment programming assists DHA residents develop career building skills and seek and maintain employment. Program services include:
- Resume Development
- Computer Classes
- GED Referrals
- Life Skills Classes
- Interview Skills Development
- Assistance with job applications
- Email Set-up
- ESL Referrals
- Job Leads
- AND MORE!
DHA’s employment programming is dedicated to helping residents find employment. DHA collaborates with many outside agencies to bring a variety of resources for our clients. For more information about the program please call 720-956-3824
Denver Housing Authority’s (DHA) Homeownership Program, a HUD Approved Counseling Agency and the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program provides financial fitness education, case management, and financial benefits. DHA’s staff provides financial assessments to determine what barriers a person faces on their journey to financial independence.
Credit management is a significant goal for most people who are trying to buy a home. As a Home Ownership Program participant, DHA staff will pull your credit report from all three credit bureaus, including credit scores, free of charge and provide credit counseling to ensure you understand how to read your credit report, improve your credit score and confirm correct information is reported on your credit report.
Budgeting, reducing debts, and saving money are major tasks for anyone who is working towards financial fitness. Homeownership and FSS staff provide money management counseling to assist participants in developing an action plan to address these areas.
- DHA’s Matching Savings Account (MSA) DHA offers a Matching Savings Account for DHA Residents enrolled in the Homeownership Program. For every dollar that a participant saves, (up to $1,500 total), DHA will match when the participant buys a house, (if the rules of the MSA Program are followed).
- Individual Development Accounts (IDA). The Mile High United Way offers the Individual Development Account (IDA) for homeownership, post-secondary education, and starting a business. IDAs offer a 4:1 match on up to $1000. There are income restrictions to open this account.
Incentive Plus Classes
Incentive Plus classes are offered to all DHA residents. These classes cover a variety of topics including real estate, self sufficiency, employment, and more. Participants receive $20.00 coupons towards their home purchase for every class that they attend. Incentive Plus coupons can be redeemed only at the time of closing with approval of DHA’s Homeownership Program.
For more information on Denver Housing Authority’s Homeownership Program, call 720-956-3801.
Each DHA development and building operates a Local Resident Council (LRC). The Resident Council Board (RCB) is the governing body of all DHA’s LRCs. RCB Executive Officers, in partnership with the RCS Department, assist LRC and RCB members to operate successful, high functioning councils. The RCB holds a bi-monthly meeting for all DHA residents over the age of 18 and provides three conferences a year.
Purpose Of Resident Council
The LRCs and RCB serve as self governing organizations of a development or building of a DHA-managed property. The principal purposes of the RCB and the LRCs are to:
- Advocate for residents before DHA and other agencies.
- Evaluate physical and social conditions at respective developments or buildings.
- Encourage programs and activities designed to promote leadership, education, safety, and self-sufficiency.
- Encourage good working relationships between residents and DHA staff.
- Determine the needs of each development or building.
Gold Star Renter's Club
Participants will learn:
- Basic credit repair and credit rebuilding
- Long-term savings goals
- Debt reduction
Benefits of the program:
- Learn about the FSS and Home Ownership Program
- Debt Reduction and Budgeting
- Increase your understanding of what landlords expect from tenants