DENVER — The Denver City Council Safety, Housing, Education & Homelessness Committee on Wednesday approved an agreement of up to $6 million to purchase up to 300 manufactured sleeping units.
The contract with Clayton Properties Group would bring the manufactured sleeping units (MSUs) to micro-communities across the city, once they receive proper permitting. The units are built at a factory in north Denver and would be delivered fully assembled.
Cole Chandler, the mayor's senior advisor for homelessness, likened the MSUs to small cabins.
“They include air-conditioning — heating, as well,” said Chandler.
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These MSUs are more fire-resistant than pallet homes and would allow the city to place units closer together, maximizing space at micro-communities.
Councilmembers were intrigued by the units during Wednesday's Safety, Housing, Education & Homelessness Committee meeting.
“Seventy square feet is awfully small for desk and bed and what not, so I’d like to see the reality of it,” said Councilmember Paul Kashmann for District 6.
Ana Gloom, an advocate with House Keys Action Network, said the city has to carefully consider amenities for the sites where the MSUs will be placed.
“One problem is going to be, do they actually have enough bathrooms for all to use? And again, you're still having to go out and go to the bathroom separately,” said Gloom.
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Chandler said the city is working on the permitting process for two micro-community sites — one at 1375 North Elati St. and the other at 2301 S. Santa Fe Drive.
The agreement will be considered by the full city council in the weeks ahead.