Colorado Springs residents can now apply for rent and utilities assistance due to Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 funds. The city, according to a news release, "received $14 million in these Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds to assist qualified Colorado Springs renters with rent and utility arrears and current rent and utility costs."
Renters or landlords on behalf of their tenants may apply for ERAP assistance if they qualify by income and can demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19. These funds are a critical tool in preventing evictions when the eviction moratorium enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expires at the end of March 2021.
“The Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide a much-needed release from the mounting rent and other housing expenses owed by residents most financially affected by the pandemic,” Steve Posey, HUD Programs Manager of the city of Colorado Springs Community Development Division, said in the release.
Eligible applicants (or tenants of landlord applicants) must: 1) qualify for unemployment or have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; 2) demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and 3) have a total household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income. These income limits are below. They are based on El Paso County data and how many people live in the household.
80 Percent Area Median Income for El Paso County by Household Size
Maximum annual household income for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The city is partnering with the Colorado Division of Housing to administer the program. Colorado Springs residents can apply at through the DOH website at cdola.colorado.gov/rental-mortgage-assistance.
Applicants will have to register through the online portal to apply. All materials must be submitted online. DOH staff will review all applications and make direct payments on applicants’ behalf, the release said, adding applicants can track the status of their applications on the ERAP dashboard.
"The Emergency Rental Assistance Program will operate on a first come, first served basis, prioritizing those eligible applicants with eviction notices, those making less than 50% of the median income and those who have been unemployed more than 90 days," the release said. "The program will operate as long as funding allows."
Homeowners in need of mortgage payment assistance and renters who make between 80 and 100 percent of the area median income can apply through the Colorado-funded Emergency Housing Assistance Program on the same page: cdola.colorado.gov/rental-mortgage-assistance.