Denver Expands Capacity to Provide Rent Assistance
Published on August 31, 2021
Denver City Council approves final in series of contracts to administer federal rent assistance program
Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) has greatly expanded its capacity to provide federal rent assistance funds to households in need. Denver City Council last night approved the final in a series of contracts to administer the Emergency Rental Assistance program (ERAP) to Denver households that are unable to pay rent and utilities.
The contracts will play a role in stemming the tide of evictions, which are anticipated following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow evictions to resume. Nearly one in eight Denver residents is behind on their rent, and many may receive an imminent notice to pay their rent or lose their homes.
A $3 million contract was approved with The Salvation Army. Other contracts recently approved include Brothers Redevelopment, Inc. ($5,000,000); Northeast Denver Housing Center ($6,000,000); Jewish Family Service of Colorado ($3,502,208); and The Community Firm ($4,177,531).
Launched by the U.S. Department of Treasury, ERAP supports low- and moderate-income households with funding that can be used for rent, rental arrears, utilities and home energy costs, utilities and home energy costs arrears, security deposits, and housing stability services, including case management and other services intended to keep households stably housed. Denver has been awarded a total of $49,159,548.30 in ERAP funds for households in need.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have worked to prevent episodes of homelessness by providing much-needed cash assistance for rent and utility payments,” said HOST Executive Director Britta Fisher. “Our community’s need is great, and these contracts position us to more quickly and effectively meet the needs for households that are struggling to make ends meet.”
ERAP is offered to renter households in which at least one individual meets the following criteria:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the coronavirus pandemic
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
- Has a household income at or below 80% of the area median
Eligible households that include an individual who has been unemployed for the 90 days prior to application for assistance and households with income at or below 50% of the area median income are prioritized for assistance.
Households may be eligible for up to 15 months of rent assistance. Immigration status and landlord participation are not required. Households can apply at Denvergov.org/RentAssistance or call 1-844-926-6632 with questions.
ERAP complements Denver’s locally-funded Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance (TRUA) program, which launched in 2017, as well as a similar program deployed with federal Coronavirus Relief Funds last year. A total of 5,095 ERAP payments totaling $20,516,100 have been approved for Denver households, utilizing state and local ERAP allocations. HOST has also provided 1,870 households with rent and utility assistance this year under the TRUA program.
For more information on housing stability resources available to Denver households, visit Denvergov.org/housing.