May 18, 2018
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced the appointment of Britta Fisher as Chief Housing Officer for the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED). As Chief Housing Officer, Fisher will lead and oversee all affordable housing policy, activities and investments for the office.
“Affordable housing is the most critical issue facing our city, and it’s vital that we continue to pull on every lever we can to provide more affordable options to our residents,” Mayor Hancock said. “Britta’s work locally to lift families and communities up and her statewide expertise on these issues will be phenomenal additions to our efforts to deliver more quality, affordable housing for hard-working Denver residents.”
Fisher will lead, manage and direct resources across all areas of the OED Housing Division, including unit production and preservation, policies and programs, housing finance, and program compliance. She will oversee OED’s strategies to invest more than $36 million annually in local and federal housing funds. Fisher will also work closely with the Housing Advisory Committee, as it provides strategic input and recommendations for annual housing action plans and continuous improvement.
“An affordable home is key to the financial security of every family,” Fisher said. “Building on the great work the city has done over the last several years, I’m excited to provide more support for those who need that security. It’s an honor to be chosen as the Chief Housing Officer, and I look forward to supporting the Mayor and the city as we focus in on this work even more to drive real positive outcomes for Denver residents.”
Fisher most recently served as the Executive Director of mpowered, where she worked to provide financial coaching to residents, identifying opportunities to reduce debt, increase savings and stabilize housing and financial situations. Prior to mpowered, Fisher spent 11 years at Localworks in Wheat Ridge, successfully guiding and implementing strategic plans for community and economic development, leading staff and boards through budgets, creating community partnerships and working major contracts at all levels of government.
Fisher’s passion and expertise for housing is reflected in her leadership across the state as she has advocated for the investments needed to create affordable units and funding for the state. She was appointed by Gov. Hickenlooper to the Colorado Housing Board to advise on state housing matters, and was elected chair of the board last year. Fisher also serves on the Housing Colorado legislative committee, and is a member of Mothers Advocating for Affordable Housing.
Fisher holds a B.A. in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Public Relations from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. She begins her role with OED on June 11.
The position of Chief Housing Officer comes with the recent realignment of OED to better fit the needs of Denver’s housing opportunities and challenges.
“Given Denver’s fast-changing housing landscape, we have implemented steps to establish a more resilient citywide housing team, with all resources under one roof and a focus on improving coordination and alignment of housing policy with housing operations,” said OED Executive Director Eric Hiraga. “With Britta’s creativity, innovation and leadership, we are positioned to deliver on our ambitious housing agenda and expand affordability throughout Denver.”
Since the creation of Denver’s Affordable Housing Fund, the city has worked to leverage those dollars and projects to expand the fund’s capacity, while broadening its impact. Last year, Denver invested more than $26 million in local and federal funds into affordable development, leveraging an additional $430 million in private and public resources. Just last month, Denver proposed a plan that would double the fund annually from $15 million to $30 million, as well as generate a new estimated $105 million funding surge for affordable housing over the next five years. With more proposals and opportunities coming, the Chief Housing Officer position is critical and necessary to accelerate OED’s housing policies and operations.