Denver nonetheless has a lot of the rental subsidy it obtained from the federal authorities for folks in want

Denver City Council voted to give two local organizations more federal aid to ensure the money is distributed.

City’s residential stability director Melissa Thate said her office expected a surge in rental support program applications as the state eviction moratorium neared its expiration, but that never really materialized.

It might have helped if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention again extended the moratorium days after it had expired, this time for certain locations, including Denver. The city’s program has been offering rental assistance since mid-June, and requests have been pretty consistent so far, according to Thate.

“I think we just keep encouraging people to apply for rental support when they need it, the sooner the better of course,” Thate said. “(We are) very grateful for this extension of the CDC’s eviction moratorium so that we can continue to provide resources to the residents who need them.”

On Monday, Denver City Council approved a $ 7 million increase to two existing contracts with Brothers Redevelopment and Northeast Denver Housing Center, organizations the city has contracted with to provide federal funding the city for received the rent support. The extra money means the two agencies will help connect residents to the rental support funds through September 2022.

The money for these two contracts comes from the nearly $ 50 million the city received in two servings from the U.S. Treasury Department this year to help pay rent to those affected by the pandemic.

Including those two contracts, that means there will be at least $ 17 million available in direct rental support from the first federal money the city received of $ 21.8 million.

Only a fraction of the federal funds have so far been used for direct rental subsidies. Of the $ 1.6 million available from the city’s first two contracts to Brothers and Northeast – those who voted for more money on Monday – $ 1,055,038 was in rental aid to 154 Denver -Households provided, according to Department of Housing Stability spokesman Derek Woodbury. Following Monday’s decision, the contracts now amount to $ 6 million with the Northeast Denver Housing Center and $ 5 million with Brothers Redevelopment.

Thate said the number of families helped so far isn’t exactly the number the office was looking for, though she said some of it could be down to the city, federal government, and local authorities with whom the city is working together to familiarize themselves with the program.

There are certain requirements for individuals who qualify for Rental Aid. Individuals and families who apply must qualify for unemployment, have received a cut in salaries, have suffered significant costs, or have experienced some other distress during or due to the pandemic. Individuals and families who make up to 80 percent of the region’s median income ($ 55,950 or less for an individual) will qualify, although the city says people with or under 50 percent AMI ($ 36,700 or less for an individual) will qualify ) Have priority. The program can provide rental allowance for up to 15 months to certain applicants.

People can apply online at the city’s website and can call Colorado Housing Connects at 1-844-926-6632 if they need help with the application. Immigration status or even the landlord’s participation in this program is not required for people to receive the rental support money.

Woodbury said there will be three new contracts before the Denver city council this month to distribute the first amount of money the city received from the federal government. The proposed contracts would be with the Jewish Family Service of Colorado ($ 3.5 million), the Salvation Army ($ 3 million), and the community company ($ 4.2 million).

The second amount of money is distributed as soon as the first amount of money is used up. The city has until September 2022 to use up the first pot and September 2025 to use up the second pot.

Have you or someone you know applied for rental allowances in Denver? If so, we’d love to hear from you for a story! Send an email to [email protected]

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