It’s the first of the month, the day the rent is due for many — including people whose incomes have been hurt by the economic slowdown created by the new coronavirus outbreak.
In a March 20 executive order, Gov. Jared Polis addressed the possibility the coronavirus will lead to people losing their homes. In addition to ordering his staff to work with landlords to try to avoid evictions and to persuade them to waive late fees, Polis also directed that $3 million from the state’s disaster emergency fund be made available to his Department of Local Government Affairs to be used for short-term rental assistance for low-income families suffering economically because of the disease outbreak. DOLA’s Division of Housing works with nonprofits across the state to provide rental assistance and other support to prevent evictions.
The Colorado Apartment Association, saying it was “standing with” Polis, has recommended that its member landlords refrain from making people move out under eviction orders through April 30. The association also was advising members to waive late fees through April 30, avoid rent increases and create payment plans for tenants unable to pay rent because of loss of income linked to the coronavirus outbreak. The group has compiled a guide that includes a list of programs across the state that can help tenants who are struggling to pay rent.
In Denver, the Northeast Denver Housing Center and Brothers Redevelopment Inc. administer the city’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program. Renters facing a crisis such as an eviction notice or the loss of a job can apply to TRUA for grants that can help pay utilities or cover up to 80 percent of the rent.
Here are some other resource shared by Jeff Martinez, president of Brothers Redevelopment:
Denver Human Services offers eviction and rental assistance for people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of losing their housing.
The Society of St. Vincent De Paul offers help with rent, utilities and food.
The Salvation Army offers short term rental assistance, case management and other support.
Volunteers of America has programs for veterans who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Jewish Family Service has some funds for Denver-area individuals and families at risk of homelessness.
Information about rental assistance and other support can be accessed by dialing 211 or connecting to the 211 site.