Thousands of Coloradans scrambling to find help after eviction moratorium lifted by Supreme Court

Posted at 5:41 PM, Aug 27, 2021

DENVER — Evictions can resume immediately nationwide after a Supreme Court ruling blocked the extension of the CDC's COVID eviction moratorium. The extension on Aug. 3 bought renters about two months of time, pushing the moratorium to October 3rd.

With the Supreme Court's ruling, about 43,000 Coloradans face the possibility of being kicked out of their home, according to the Census Bureau.

Cesiah Guadarrama, with 9 to 5 Colorado, calls the ruling "disappointing".

"We’re in a really time-sensitive moment where a lot of those protections are ending. You're seeing unemployment and the eviction moratorium coming to an end and we’re seeing COVID numbers go up. So folks are going to be in a bind especially not having an income," Guadarrama said.

Jonathan Cappelli, with the Neighborhood Development Collaborative, is urging the state "to create a win/win solution to support both tenants in danger of eviction and landlords with mounting unpaid rent".

"With 20% of renters having difficulty paying rent, 12% with $4k in rental debt, and thousands of renters and landlords held up in the application process for the majority of yet undistributed Federal Eviction Assistance funding, CO should join states like CA, ILL, MN, and NY in creating a local eviction moratorium," Cappelli told Denver7 Friday.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office is seeing record numbers on the eviction page of its website. Officials with the sheriff's office told Denver7: "We have looked at this and have a plan to TDY deputies to the Civil unit to help if the number gets too large."

This comes as only a fraction of the federal unemployment for rental assistance has been distributed. According to the Department of Treasury, only $32.6 million of $443 million has been given out. The state said 36,677 assistance applications have been approved.

Since January 2021, the Division of Housing has approved and paid over $100 million in state and federally funded rental assistance. An additional $9 million has been approved and is awaiting payment. The state did not return a request to clarify how much of the $100 million is federal funding.

The state also says newly submitted applications are reviewed within one week. If all of the necessary documentation is provided by the tenant and the landlord, the application will be reviewed and approved for payment within two weeks.

The governor's office told Denver7 in a statement: "Actions by the Polis administration and the state legislature have helped keep people housed throughout this global pandemic while state and federal governments have worked to pass legislation, design programs that provide monetary assistance to renters and others, and deploy emergency financial relief to cover pandemic-related rental challenges. We have an Executive Order in place, Executive Order D 2021 125, to help ensure that applicants to the Colorado Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) have a full 30 days to make past-due rental payments rather than the normal ten days, and the Governor will consider extending that additional protection if a significant backlog of assistance remains."

How do I receive help?

Colorado Legal Services gives free legal help to low-income individuals and Coloradans over 60.

The City Of Denver is also providing free legal help to low-income individuals and families being evicted.

The are also nonprofits like 9 to 5 Colorado who offer assistance.

The Neighborhood Development Collaborative is a coalition of 18 nonprofit affordable housing organizations across Metro Denver who provide emergency housing assistance and develop new affordable housing for vulnerable households across the region.

Click here to apply for federal rental assistance through the state.