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Ismael Guerrero, executive director of the Denver Housing Authority since 2007, was honored by Denver City Council on Monday for his civic leadership.

Guerrero will exit DHA on June 11 before stepping into the top spot at Mercy Housing, a national affordable housing nonprofit based in Denver, at the start of July.

“Ismael continues to demonstrate his sincere and deep appreciation of Denver’s diverse communities, its residents and neighborhoods through his commitment to resident-led planning and development, healthy living initiatives, and neighborhood stabilization initiatives,” the council’s proclamation, brought forward by Councilwoman Jamie Torres, reads. “Ismael’s staff, residents, Board of Commissioners, City friends and associates will miss his dedication, hard work and leadership on behalf of the Denver Housing Authority.”

The proclamation highlights some of Guerrero’s accomplishments, including securing millions in grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and being recognized by the White House in 2014 as a “Champion of Change” for “leading DHA to be recognized as a leader in sustainability, renewable energy, and energy efficiency, including investing over $20 million in Energy Conservation Measures leading to annual utility cost savings of over $2 million.”

Guerrero’s leadership, the proclamation states, has led DHA to partner with more than 35 affordable housing developers, resulting in more than 1,000 project-based voucher units across the city that serve Denver’s lowest-income residents.

“Through Ismael’s leadership and effective team building, the Denver Housing Authority has continued to be recognized as a 'High Performing Authority' managing and maintaining over 5,500 public and affordable housing units, administering over 7,000 Housing Choice Vouchers, and serving over 25,000 residents in the City and County of Denver,” the proclamation reads.

Due to the coronavirus, the council is “streamlining” their Monday evening meetings to limit physical contact, so the proclamation was not read aloud, nor was it presented to Guerrero, who was not in attendance.  

Still, some council members made it a point to briefly share their thoughts on his public service.

Torres, who served on DHA’s board, said that “DHA under his leadership gave the opportunity to explore greater leadership of residents, and that was a real treat.”

“Denver Housing Authority doesn’t just own and operate public housing, they’ve been a thought partner,” Councilwoman At-Large Robin Kniech said. “Ismael has been a policy partner and helped us to really expand the impact we can have far beyond the borders of the land that they own and the units that they operate.

“I’ve greatly appreciated that," she said, "… and I just want him to know how appreciated he is and how much luck we wish him on his next endeavor.”

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