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Neighborhood Equity & Stabilization (NEST)

In many of Denver's historic, fastest-changing neighborhoods, residents are faced with a rising cost of living while locally owned businesses struggle with increased rent costs and the need to diversify their businesses to attract new customers from the evolving community.

Denver's unique NEST initiative was created in 2018 to preserve the culture and character of these neighborhoods experiencing significant change by helping provide longtime businesses and residents opportunities to remain in place.

Our job is to ensure that all residents and businesses benefit from the prosperity and success that Denver is experiencing -- to not only protect the vulnerable from involuntary displacement but to improve the shared quality of life for us all.


More Information

NEST's strategy is to connect city agencies, service providers, nonprofits, businesses, and residents to maximize resources and best practices. Our goal is stability today for residents and neighborhoods, and sustainable financial security tomorrow.

Within city government, this strategy actively includes the following:

Denver Economic Development & Opportunity 

Denver Human Services

Office of Children's Affairs

Department of Public Safety

Department of Finance

Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods

Office of Human Rights & Community Partnerships

Denver Public Works


We know that our work is dependent on leveraging all possible public as well as private investments. 

Thus our current efforts include a complete survey of all existing resources that affect neighborhood equity and stabilization. NEST is actively:

  • Identifying and coordinating city efforts to support our neighborhoods first
  • Reviewing city development policies to ensure that they work to benefit vulnerable communities
  • Fostering opportunities for cooperation between existing nonprofit programs
  • Identifying gaps in service and unmet needs

Denver has undergone significant change since the Great Recession of 2008-09, and emerged with one of the fastest-growing economies in the country. NEST was created to help ensure that the substantial economic, social, and cultural benefits of this success are available, and shared by, all residents.

Our efforts are focused on the following neighborhoods, in addition to any other areas of Denver undergoing large-scale development:

  • East Colfax
  • Globeville
  • Elyria-Swansea
  • Montbello
  • Northeast Park Hill
  • Sun Valley
  • Valverde
  • Villa Park
  • West Colfax
  • Westwood

The NEST philosophy is to maximize and make more readily available every possible program or service that can help lift up underserved neighborhoods and vulnerable residents. NEST is located within Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO), but its success also draws upon providing a broader citywide spectrum of assets:

Job training

Career pathways

Financial coaching

Housing resources

Social services

Supporting entrepreneurs

Help existing small businesses thrive in place

Child care, transportation, and other barriers to success

Irene Aguilar, NEST Director, 720-913-1662

Sylvia Smith, Assistant Director, Neighborhoods, 720-913-1602

Roger Cobb, 720-913-1559

Elvis Rubio, 720-913-1688


Small Business Emergency Relief

A city-wide program that addresses the most immediate needs of the business community. The program prioritizes those industries who are most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, such as the food industry, nail salons, barbershops, home childcare providers, and retail shops.

Providing up to a $7,500 in cash grants to our most vulnerable, this program is designed to assist eligible small businesses that may have had to temporarily close, have difficulty with paying their rent and utilities, or have had to lay off staff.

Please Note: This temporary relief program is intended to be available for a four (4) month period, subject to change. The program is being rolled out in monthly phases with a deadline to submit applications being the last day of the month from March through June.

This program is for business owners within the City & County of Denver only.

Have Questions?

For questions about this program, email us at


Location & Hours
101 W Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80202
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Denver Economic Development & Opportunity

Phone: 720-913-1999

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