Denver’s rental assistance program has been extended

Apartments dear the University of Denver. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Apartments dear the University of Denver. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Donna Bryson. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver is expanding a tenants’ assistance program it hopes will prevent homelessness.

Denver City Council voted Monday to approve new contracts for the Northeast Denver Housing Center and Brothers Redevelopment Inc., which administer the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program. The new contracts totaling $2 million bring the city’s total spending on TRUA to nearly $4 million, the Office of Economic Development said in a statement Tuesday.

Renters facing a crisis such as an eviction notice or the loss of a job can apply to TRUA for assistance that can help pay utilities or cover up to 80 percent of their rent. Renters must meet income limits. They do not have to repay the grants.

OED said more than 1,100 households have benefited from TRUA since the program began in November 2017. More than 1,000 households have each received an average rental payment of $1,200. In all 77 households have received an average of $378 each in utility payments. Many were female-headed households and most had incomes below 30 percent of the area median income.

“Denver’s comprehensive housing strategy includes approaches like TRUA, to help people from losing their homes,” Britta Fisher, OED’s chief housing officer, said in the statement. “By investing resources to stabilize residents at risk of involuntary displacement, we’re doing more to help alleviate homelessness and support residents in need.”

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