DENVER, CO – The House Transportation, Housing & Local Government Committee today passed legislation to provide an additional $30 million in emergency rental assistance. HB23B-1001, sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and Mandy Lindsay, would increase statewide assistance to a total of $65 million, including $35 million from federal funds already allocated.
“People of color are disproportionately impacted by evictions that can lead to heart breaking cycles of poverty, homelessness and financial insecurity for Colorado’s most vulnerable families,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “This legislation adds $30 million in funding toward rental assistance, bringing the statewide total to $65 million between state and federal funds. Many Coloradans living paycheck-to-paycheck cannot afford rising costs. Rental assistance keeps people housed in their communities as we work toward more long-term affordability solutions.”
“Everyone deserves a safe and stable place to call home, but many renters across our state are on the verge of losing their housing,” said Rep. Mandy Lindsay, D-Aurora. “As evictions rise, our renters need urgent support. This legislation increases rental assistance by $30 million, nearly doubling funding for rental assistance statewide. Rental assistance provides a critical lifeline to Colorado renters by giving them a fair chance to stay in their homes, avoid eviction, and get back on their feet.”
HB23B-1001, which passed by a vote of 8-4, would invest $30 million into emergency rental assistance in the Department of Local Affairs to provide financial assistance for rent owed and other related costs for Colorado tenants making at or below 80-percent of the area median income. Under this legislation, eligible tenants at risk of eviction or displacement would be required to apply through an online state portal to be connected with a non-profit partner.
In addition to monthly rental payments, qualified tenants could use funding toward paying rental debt, up to two months of future rent, utility bills, late fees, court costs, reasonable attorney fees, and security deposits. The funding could also be used towards spreading awareness and increasing outreach to tenants at risk of eviction or displacement.
Evictions are on the rise in Colorado. This year alone, 43,899 evictions have been filed according to state courts and Denver County court filing data. This threatens the housing of over 100,000 people across the state. By the end of the year, the number of eviction filings will have surpassed 50,000.
Colorado has the 8th highest median monthly rent out of all 50 states, with a two bedroom apartment costing an average of $1,856 in 2023. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, out of an estimated 742,240 renter households across Colorado, 63-percent of renters have an annual household income that is less than 80-percent of the area median income and make up 93-percent of households most likely to be struggling with housing costs.