Follow Up


Denver reports 1,548 eviction filings in January, second-highest monthly total in years

Denver's Department of Housing Stability estimates $29.1 million in rental assistance approved in November would serve about 4,000 households
Posted: 4:40 PM, Feb 02, 2024
Updated: 2024-02-02 20:22:57-05
denver evictions 020124.jpg

DENVER — More than 1,500 eviction filings were made in Denver in the first month of 2024, according to county court data.

The 1,548 evictions represent the second-highest number in at least the last five years. Denver reported 1,630 eviction filings in October of last year.

The number of filings rose 434 from December. And, while more evictions tend to happen in January, according to Denver's Department of Housing Stability (HOST), last month's figure is 445 higher (40%) than January of 2023.

According to HOST, evictions — along with high housing costs and stagnant wages — are a factor that contributes to homelessness.

"Stabilizing housing services, like rent and utility assistance and eviction legal defense, are critical to staving off evictions and keeping people in their homes," a HOST spokesperson told Denver7 in an emailed statement.

Elina Rodriguez, with the Community Economic Defense Project, which helps families facing eviction, said the filings in January are worrying and could be a devastating sign of things to come.

"The fact that this is the second-highest month on record a mere five months after the last highest month on record should scare all of us," said Rodriguez. "[It] means we could probably see about 18,000 evictions in Denver by the end of 2024."

Last November, in the wake of record-breaking eviction numbers in 2023, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston and the city council approved $29 million in emergency rental assistance and $2 million in eviction legal defense as part of the city's 2024 budget.

HOST officials told Denver7 it anticipated the $29.1 million would serve around 4,000 households.

The city began accepting online applications at the beginning of January.

It's unclear how long the money will last.

"We are constantly tracking spend down and looking at projections and we'll be continually assessing when we might need to request additional funding," said Becca Channell, the program director for the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program (TRUA), which is part of HOST.

The State of Colorado also approved additional funding for rental assistance, but applications won't start being accepted until later this month, a spokesperson told Denver7.

It is not clear how many evictions resulted from January's filings. A judge must rule in every case before a tenant can be forced to vacate their home.

Eviction filings, though, often come late in the eviction process, according to Zach Neumann, who's also with the Community Economic Defense Project. Filing numbers could also represent an incomplete picture of the problem, he said, noting that many people opt not to go through the legal process of eviction.

"So when we see that 1,200 or 1,500 eviction filings, we really should see a much bigger number because so many other people are choosing to self-evict rather than go through the legal process of eviction," Neumann told Denver7. "People often misunderstand or understate the impact that an eviction can have on a family."

A study by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless in 2017 showed more than 75% of tenants lost their homes in court.

Denver saw 1,548 eviction filings in January – second-most in years

The January spike in filings comes as Colorado lawmakers once again try to expand legal protections for renters this legislative session. Advocates of the Democrat-backed bill say it would prevent “no-cause” evictions.

The bill would only permit landlords to evict a tenant or not renew their lease if they have a legitimate reason, recognized by law — like failure to pay rent, lease violations not fixed by the tenant in a timely manner, and criminal activity. Under Colorado law currently, landlords are allowed to evict or not renew for any reason, or no reason.

A similar bill was introduced by Democrats last year, but failed to gain enough traction to pass.

Eviction Protections Bill


Colorado Democrats push for law to prevent ‘no-cause’ evictions

Rob Harris
6:42 PM, Jan 24, 2024