Denver’s program to help people avoid eviction by temporarily covering their bills starts Nov. 1

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A rent increase or a job loss can move someone from a secure housing situation to an insecure one suddenly. Starting Wednesday, some Denverites can get help from the city for just those occasions.

With the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program, Denver plans to help people earning 80 percent of area median income or less with housing costs for up to six months.

And the application process can start with a call to 311. 

[quote about egalitarian nature of 311.]

From there, applicants have to demonstrate a financial or housing crisis. According to the city that could include “a notice of rent increase that makes existing housing unaffordable, evidence of uninhabitable living conditions like a notice of public health violations, a past due notice, or loss of a job.”

It’s not limited to those exact scenarios though. Melissa Thate housing policy officer. says that [program partners brothers contracting and NE Denver help determine what qualifies as a housing crisis. ]

Participants can receive up to six months of rental assistance of up to 80 percent of contracted rent, and/or up to two months of utility assistance not to exceed $1,000. All rental and utility assistance will be paid directly to the landlord/service provider.

The TRUA program is also designed to fill another sort of gap. Melissa Thate housing policy officer. says that the program is designed to reach people who haven’t been eligible for other assistance programs like the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program.

[we did an analysis, and based on that analysis found that 80 % ami was the right area to target.

Administered by the Office of Economic Development, the TRUA program provides rental and/or utility assistance to residents experiencing a housing crisis, offering up to six months of rent assistance and up to $1,000 in utility payments. 


TRUA is a new pilot program, which is paid for through Denver’s dedicated fund for housing, and is part of a collaborative effort to address critical and immediate needs of people facing utility shutoff, eviction, or displacement early in the housing crisis continuum. The TRUA program is estimated to serve over 300 families in the first year, and will target neighborhoods experiencing substantial change.