EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Another crisis is on the horizon. This time it is a wave of evictions threatening families who have fallen behind on rent. The federal moratorium on evictions is set to expire Saturday, July 31, which will allow landlords to start, or continue, the eviction process.
Since May of 2020, Pikes Peak United Way has helped 175 El Paso County citizens file for $611,150 in rental assistance.
“We lost our job on campus and we don’t have any kind of assistance at this point,” Uma Chinta said. “I wasn’t able to afford rent, and I learned about this program through friends.”
Another renter agreed.
“This is vital because it offers help that I… otherwise wouldn’t have known about,” Ken Knox said.
Landlords can also apply on behalf of their tenants. And it can be time-consuming. Filling out the application can take an hour and then there’s a wait. It takes the state multiple weeks to process an application and send the payment.
“There are still a number of people who are unable to pay rent or owe a significant amount of back rent, and if that is the case, once this moratorium is lifted, they could face homelessness,” Pikes Peak United Way Director of Community Impact Elizabeth Quevedo said.
According to Surgo Ventures, an estimated 11,257 renters in El Paso County have fallen behind on rent.
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The state of Colorado has $250 million for rental assistance and the city of Colorado Springs has $25 million.
“Only about half of the city dollars have been applied for so there is still money available to get renters assistance,” Quevedo explained.
United Way wants to help even more people before the federal ban on evictions is lifted on July 31.
“We have helped 175 citizens file for emergency rental assistance, but we know that is just a drop in the bucket – that there are so many more people out there that are behind on rent,” Quevedo added. “There could be some expectation on the part of the renter that this moratorium might not happen, but unfortunately we believe that it will. And it could be a bad situation for a number of people.”
People can file for assistance for up to six months of owed rent and up to three months of current rent. They can continue to apply for rent up to 15 months.
“The applications – they can certainly do on their own, but it was nice to be there to help assist with the paperwork, because there is so much of it,” Volunteer Kirk Sonthanaporn said.
If you would like to apply for rental assistance you’ll need to provide:
- Copy of lease
- Proof of money owed
- Demand to pay or eviction notice
- Identification for each member of the household
- And income statement for each member of the household
If you need help with rent, call 2-1-1 or visit Pikes Peak United Way.