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Denver's HOPE Director calls it quits; Erik Solivan was hired to fix affordable housing crisis

Solivan was on the job for a year
Posted at 9:46 PM, Feb 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 01:08:41-05

DENVER -- Mayor Michael Hancock called it a bold step when he created a new office aimed at tackling Denver's affordable housing crisis but just one year later the city's housing-czar has quit.

Erik Solivan turned in his in his resignation letter on Tuesday after just one year on the job. Solivan's official title was Director of HOPE or Housing and Opportunities for People Everywhere. His departure comes as city council is set to consider a new plan that he helped write.

According to a statement from the city, a reorganization is taking place within the Office of Economic Development in order to focus more attention to housing, workforce development and small business.

During the Mayor Hancock's 2016 State of the City address, he laid out big plans for the Office of HOPE saying:

We will knock down silos, refocus our city agencies and create a unified and forceful effort to help those who need a home, find a home. This is some of the hardest work we do, and we can do better. This new office will harness and marshal our resources, our talent and our determination.

Now it appears the city is moving in a different direction. A city spokesperson says the mayor's HOPE initiative will still be part of the new alignment.

In Solivan's resignation letter he said, "I support the reorganization of the Office of Economic Development, and it will better position the city to tackle complex issues, execute, and support initiatives in the Housing Plan to expand and preserve housing affordability..."

Several council members told Denver7 they were surprised by his departure. One councilman said he sat in a meeting with Solivan Wednesday morning and he did not make any mention of resigning.