DENVER, CO – The House passed legislation today to provide an additional $30 million in emergency rental assistance. Sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and Mandy Lindsay, HB23B-1001, would increase statewide assistance to a total of $65 million, including $35 million from federal funds already allocated.
“With Coloradans facing evictions at record rates, we are stepping up with emergency assistance that will help thousands of people have a fair chance to stay in their homes and catch up on rent,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “Data shows people of color face evictions at a higher rate. The need for rental support is dire, and this legislation nearly doubles our investment to protect vulnerable families in their most challenging moments. Rental assistance supports both landlords and renters because it reduces evictions and keeps Coloradans housed.”
“Coloradans facing eviction often have nowhere else to turn which can lead to cycles of poverty, homelessness and heartbreaking disruptions for vulnerable families,” said Rep. Mandy Lindsay, D-Aurora. “Renters in our state need support now which is why this legislation increases emergency rental assistance by $30 million, nearly doubling statewide funding. This legislation will help prevent thousands of evictions by providing renters with a critical lifeline they need to get back on their feet. The reality is without this funding, many Coloradans are one missed paycheck away from losing their housing.”
HB23B-1001, which passed by a vote of 42-18 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.