Colorado Residents Have Until Nov. 15 To Apply for Emergency Rental Assistance — What Are the Alternatives?

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After providing assistance to more than 36,000 Colorado households since Aug. 2021, the state’s Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) will stop taking applications for its short-term COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) in less than two weeks.

In a statement issued on Oct. 27, DOLA announced that the $300 million in federal funding the state received through congressional acts will soon be depleted, according to 9NEWS, NBC’s Denver affiliate. As such, the deadline to apply for ERAP funding is Nov. 15 at 11:59 p.m.

DOLA will continue to review applications and disburse all remaining program money after that date until it is gone, but — as The Denver Post reported — the state is going to prioritize using its remaining federal funds to prevent impending evictions. Of the thousands of households that received ERAP funding, more than 7 in 10 had a 50% area median income (AMI) or less, per Colorado Springs’ The Gazette.

As the temporary assistance program winds down, DOLA is busy implementing a stabilization phase to its program to ensure Coloradans facing hardship aren’t left out in the cold. In addition to enhanced customer service and available resource and service identification for tenants, DOLA will strive to assist with legal representation and mediation for evictions — and to prevent housing instability.

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“While this temporary funding and program is coming to an end, Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs will continue to work with our state and other contracted partners as we support those needing further individualized assistance,” DOLA housing recovery manager Melissa Nereson was quoted as saying in the Oct. 27 DOLA press release.

Renters in Denver, Larmier, Boulder Counties Could Have Other Options

When asked about the possibility of ERAP being extended, Nereson stated she didn’t foresee anything “beyond its current iteration,” per The Denver Post. But renters in Denver, Larmier and Boulder counties may still have a chance of receiving assistance from their local jurisdictions.

As the DOLA press statement noted, the U.S. Treasury has earmarked emergency rental assistance funding for cities and counties with more than 200,000 people. Residents living in one of these three counties should contact their county to see if they are eligible for further aid.

For rental and eviction inquiries, or to check on the status of an already submitted application, Colorado residents can call (or text) 1-720-356-0174 or 1-888-480-0066. Hours of operation for these lines run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Visit the DOLA website for more information.

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