Colorado Judicial Department is looking for grants purposes from the Eviction Authorized Protection Fund

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An apartment building in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on December 10, 2020. (Moe Clark / Colorado Newsline)

The Colorado Judicial Branch is looking for applications for their Eviction Legal Defense Fund grant program.

To qualify for the program, an organization must be a nonprofit that currently provides legal services to low-income tenants in Colorado and that has applied for more than 20% of its funding from sources other than the Eviction Legal Defense Fund.

Tenants, especially low-income tenants, can rarely be represented by a lawyer in the eviction procedure for reasons of cost. A snapshot of data compiled by the Denver County Courts shows that of the 500 eviction cases filed between September 4 and October 19, 2020, 498 landlords were represented, while only 24 renters had an attorney. Of the 1,083 evictions filed during the same period in 2019, 1,081 landlords had legal counsel, while only 23 renters did so in the same cases.

The grants are awarded based on the number of clients served by the organization in the past year and the location of the service. In 2022, $ 1.55 million will be awarded through the program. The funds are expected to cover only a small part of the nation’s needs.

For example, Melissa Thate, Denver director of residential stability, estimated in February that a $ 1.1 million contract would provide evacuation legal assistance to 1,800 Denver households over a period of three years. In 2019, 45,670 evictions were filed across the state, according to data requested by the Denver County Court and the Colorado Judicial Branch.

Every scholarship holder is obliged to submit semi-annual financial / program reports and a detailed annual report to the regional court administrator.

The regional court administrator is obliged to evaluate the use of the donations from the fund every five years and to present them to the general assembly. The Eviction Legal Defense Fund was established by state lawmakers in 2019 to expand the availability of legal counsel to help low-income people who are evicted or at risk of being evicted.

Applications, which can be found on the Ministry of Justice website, must be sent by email to [email protected] until 5 p.m., July 15th.

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