Pipe Dreams and Picket Fences

“Pipe Dreams and Picket Fences: Direction from Denver’s Houseless People on Housing Needs and Priorities in the Context of Today’s Public Housing” gives direction from houseless people on what the housing is we need to create: how much does housing need to cost, what should the processes be to secure housing, where should that housing be, what rules should be in place or not, and what supports are needed in housing. The findings from talking with almost 1000 houseless people reveal clear themes of common need and desire. As the report title “Pipedreams and Picket Fences” alludes, we hear a desire for quality homes and at the same time the sense that this is a “pipedream” out of reach. Houseless people make it clear in this survey what housing is desired and how close to impossible it is to get that housing.

Research on public housing included in this report builds on WRAP’s work in “Without Housing” which documents the history of houselessness and the loss of public housing. It was 40 years ago that emergency shelters spread across the country and it was 40 years ago that funding for public housing was cut and never restored. Now more people are houseless than ever before and public housing continues to be privatized. The trend of privatizing and destroying public housing is increasing across the country and of course with it houselessness is skyrocketing. 

Our fight for housing is driven by these realities and this direction of houseless people on the housing we want and need. “Pipe Dreams and Picket Fences” is meant to be used as a tool to direct the fight for housing for all. 

Executive Summary English

Executive Summary Spanish 

Power Point

2022 Housing Survey

What is the Housing Survey and why do it?

Housekeys Action Network Denver together with Western Regional Advocacy Project created an outreach survey to hear from people without housing about desires and needs for housing. This survey gathers input on what kinds of housing houseless people want, how that housing should be accessed, and other housing policies. 

The survey has so far been done in Denver CO with 828 houseless people, and in Montrose CO with 100 houseless people. You can do this survey in your city too!