Housing is among our most basic needs as human beings. Ultimately, our aim is to prevent displacement and to keep as many people housed as possible during the current housing crisis, which predated COVID and will only be exacerbated by the lifting of the eviction moratorium at the end of June.
In 2019, there were 9,249 evictions filed in Denver County Court. In 2020, there were still 3,912 evictions filed; 90% of those filings resulted in evictions during the eviction moratorium. In 2021, there have already been over 1,500 evictions filed to date. According to the Colorado Eviction Defense Project, one in four Coloradans is facing eviction right now.
The cascading long-term consequences of an eviction can include homelessness, financial dependence on others, physical health declines, mental health declines, inability to rent in one’s own name, as well as children’s health declines, learning loss for students, and an inability to maintain stable employment.
This ordinance would provide vulnerable tenants with proactive notification of and access to legal services and legal representation, which will make it more likely that more tenants will be able to stay housed, obtain immediate rental assistance, and the downstream costs of homelessness to residents, city agencies, and service providers will be greatly reduced.