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Fort Collins Wins $1 Million in Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge

Released on Monday, October 29, 2018
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Michael R. Bloomberg today announced Fort Collins as a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge, a year-long competition that challenged city leaders to uncover and test bold, inventive ideas to confront the toughest problems faced by cities today. Fort Collins is one of nine cities that will receive $1 million to begin implementation on potentially breakthrough solutions to homelessness, the opioid crisis, mobility, climate change, and economic opportunity.

Fort Collins was selected as a winner for its innovative approach to providing health and equity benefits for low- and moderate-income renters by improving the energy efficiency of rental homes. Residential property owners can take advantage of the EPIC Program’s easy streamlined steps to make their homes more comfortable, healthy and efficient. In addition, the new EPIC Loan offers attractive financing for these projects, repaid on the owner’s portion of the utility bill, with capital delivered via private sector partners. See more information.

Fort Collins will also work with Colorado State University to document the health and wellbeing benefits of improved indoor air quality over time.

“The City of Fort Collins is honored to accept this award from Bloomberg Philanthropies,” said Mayor Wade Troxell. “We believe that the Mayors Challenge competition highlights the need for cities to increase their collaboration with the private sector to scale up real solutions that make an impact locally and globally. Our EPIC program is working hand-in-hand with local contractors and property owners to upgrade older, less energy-efficient rental units where many low- and moderate-income families live - not only to save residents money, but also to improve the health and well-being of our entire community.”

Fort Collins joins Denver; Durham, N.C.; Georgetown, Texas; Huntington, W. Va.; Los Angeles; New Rochelle, N.Y.; Philadelphia; and South Bend, Ind., as winners of the U.S. Mayors Challenge.

"Mayors across the country are tackling the big issues that Washington is ignoring. This competition is designed to help them do even more, by incentivizing and supporting big – and achievable – new ideas,” said Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City. “Congratulations to all of the winning mayors, who represent cities large and small, in regions across the country. We look forward to seeing the results of their work -- and to helping the ideas that prove most effective spread far and wide."

The Mayors Challenge, co-chaired by former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and former Xerox Chairman & CEO Ursula Burns, is comprised of distinguished policy experts, artists, academics, business executives, and social innovation leaders. The committee evaluated the cities applications based on their idea's vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities to choose Fort Collins as among the nine winning cities.

New to the Mayors Challenge this year was a six-month “test and learn” phase where each of the 35 Champion Cities received up to $100,000 and technical assistance to test and build support for their ideas. Cities tested core components of their ideas with residents, improved and refined their proposals, and developed a plan for implementation and impact measurement.

“We also appreciate the additional $1 million in leveraged funds provided by the Colorado Energy Office,” said Sean Carpenter, the City’s Climate Economy Advisor. “Working with our partners to demonstrate and replicate effective public-private partnerships to reduce energy consumption is one of the major ways the City will achieve its climate action goals.”

The U.S. Mayors Challenge builds on the success of previous Bloomberg Philanthropies-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). Previous Mayors Challenge winners include São Paulo, Brazil with a program to increase farmers’ income and reduce urban sprawl; Barcelona, Spain for work to create digital trust networks that support at-risk elderly citizens; and Providence, RI, for a program to measure and reduce the “word gap” among low-income children during pivotal brain development years. For more information, visit http://www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information, please visit http://www.bloomberg.org or follow us on https://www.facebook.com/bloombergdotorg, https://www.instagram.com/bloombergdotorg/, http://www.apple.com, and https://twitter.com/bloombergdotorg.