No, Mayor Hancock can’t cancel rent collection, and other questions Denverites asked during a coronavirus Twitter Q&A

Housing, people experiencing homelessness and DIA all came up.
3 min. read
Mayor Michael Hancock speaks to Ryan Warner and Colorado Matters in his office. Feb. 21, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Mayor Michael Hancock on Friday took to Twitter to answer questions from online users, covering several topics and concerns on top of everyone's minds due to the coronavirus.

He even broke some major news about street closures for walking and biking.

After starting out late due to technical difficulties, Hancock answered questions from his Broncos-themed mayoral house chambers. The event was part of an Ask the Mayor series promoted by TwitterGov account and featuring mayors from across the country. Here's a snippet of some of the questions he was asked.

? Can the mayor do anything about rent payments in the city?

Several users asked Hancock about rent concerns for people amid the pandemic, even asking if he could cancel rent in the city. Hancock said he doesn't have the authority to authorize a rent freeze in Denver. "This is something that keeps me up at night," Hancock said in a tweet.

He noted the city last month asked sheriffs to stop carrying out evictions indefinitely. The city wants residents to apply to the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program (TRUA). He asked people interested in learning more to call 311.

⛺️ How is the city helping people experiencing homelessness?

Hancock said the city is focusing on getting people experiencing homelessness connected to city and local services to help bring more people inside (there is also talk about a consolidated shelter). "Additionally, we are supporting our existing network of shelter/service providers, standing up a shelter to provide relief and/distancing and supporting the establishment of respite rooms for individuals to recover and self-quarantine," Hancock said in a tweet.

? Why is DIA still operating?

From Hancock's tweet: "At this time @DENAirport hasn't been identified by the CDC for screening. However, its passenger traffic has decreased by about 90% since the pandemic started and they are practicing social distancing and other CDC guidelines...this includes airlines." The drop in service led the airport to close one of its security checkpoints. It's also slowing down terminal trains to have them arrive at gates every 2 to 3 minutes to every 8 to 9 minutes.

? Does the city have enough personal protective equipment?

Hancock said the city got a head start on figuring out how much they would need for first-responders. He said the city has ordered about 1 million surgical masks for Denver. He said the city has been looking for PPE vendors across the world, as well as getting some from the federal stockpile and donations from local businesses and people. Hancock said they're prioritizing who receives them, starting with first-responders and medical staff.

?Can I still get a marriage license in Denver?

You can, Hancock said, citing the city's Office of the Clerk and Recorder's recent change to allow couples to mail or drop off their marriage license applications in Denver.

There was also a question about parking enforcement; the city suspended most parking enforcement for 30 days starting March 19. There were also questions about the federal stimulus check and unemployment. Hancock recommended residents check the IRS website for the check since it's a federal program and the state for unemployment claims.

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