Denver Receives Additional $27M in Federal Rental Assistance
Published on May 12, 2021
The City and County of Denver is receiving $27,274,556.20 in additional federal Emergency Rental Assistance program (ERAP) funds, made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act. This is the second allocation of ERAP funds awarded to Denver, providing the city with a total of $49,159,548.30 to help support households that are unable to pay rent and utilities.
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, and housing stability services, including case management and other services intended to keep households stably housed.
“While the pandemic is leaving more individuals and families precariously housed than ever before, we’re fortunate to receive a much-needed influx of federal resources to help keep people in their homes,” said Britta Fisher, executive director of Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST). “We’re leaning in with the State of Colorado and provider partners to judiciously distribute funding to households that are most in need.”
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 during or due 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 to be prioritized for assistance.
Earlier this week, Denver City Council approved two new HOST contracts, totaling $4 million, to deploy ERAP funding. Contracts with Brothers Redevelopment and Northeast Denver Housing Center represent the initial infusion of ERAP resources in Denver, with expanded investments anticipated following an additional procurement that is currently underway.
Denver’s expenditure deadline to distribute aid from the first allocation of ERAP funding is Sept. 30, 2022. The second allocation expenditure deadline is Sept. 30, 2025.
ERAP complements Denver’s locally-funded Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program which launched in 2017, as well as a similar program deployed with federal Coronavirus Relief Funds last year.
Demand for rent and utility support has continued to increase throughout the pandemic, spiking by more than 60% in January 2021 over the month prior. HOST provided more than 2,500 unduplicated households with rent and utility assistance in 2020, a 150% increase from 2019.
Denver is utilizing the State of Colorado’s portal for administration of the program. Denver residents can apply for the program at https://cdola.colorado.gov/rental-mortgage-assistance.