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Colorado still has millions in emergency rental assistance as application deadline nears

Posted at 4:11 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 19:34:43-05

DENVER — Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs is reminding renters that the deadline to apply for emergency rental assistance in Colorado is Nov. 15.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was created to provide financial help to renters who experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were at risk of housing instability.

“The Department of Local Affairs has distributed over $300 million thus far in emergency rental assistance, and that has been distributed to all 64 counties throughout Colorado,” said Melissa Nereson, Office of Housing Recovery manager.

Nereson said the state still has almost $100 million to distribute to those in need.

“To be eligible for the rental assistance program, you must be a resident of the state of Colorado, have a household income of under 80% of the area median income and have experienced a financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nereson said.

Nereson said the assistance has helped landlords and tenants.

“Both by stabilizing households for the tenant, as well as the landlords are able to collect their income and prevent homelessness or eviction,” Nereson said.

LaShawn Dixon, a case manager at the Community Outreach Service Center in downtown Denver, said the program has helped a lot of her clients remain in their homes.

“I’ve processed at least 600 ERAP applications. The process of doing it is pretty extensive ... But once it's done, pretty much the state will fund their rent, pay what they're behind and pay them up for a couple of months,” Dixon said. “I think it's been quite helpful for a lot of people that have been struggling here. I know with my caseload, a lot of clients were in debt and were struggling and weren't able to pay their rent. Didn't even know how they were going to make it the next month.”

That was the case for Dixon’s client, Preston Brockington, Jr.

“I lost my wife and I had COVID. But we go through things, and we have to do things to try and make up for the loss,” Brockington said. “It helped pay my rent, got me caught up to where I could pay bills and and other things that I needed to pay.”

The deadline to apply for emergency rental assistance is 11:59 p.m. on November 15. To learn more about to the program or apply for assistance, click here.