Denver, CO

Denver may rescue low-income residents facing eviction

David Heitz

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By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) The City and County of Denver will consider helping low-income families facing eviction.

The Public Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness Committee will discuss the plan at its Wednesday meeting. The proposal calls for providing services to people making $55,950 per year or less.

The committee will hear a presentation on the program and consider awarding three contracts. If approved, contracts would go to:

· Colorado Poverty Law Project: $900,000 for eviction prevention legal advice and representation, housing navigation, young adult outreach, referrals, and self-help eviction prevention services. The project would serve more than 5,500 households.

· Colorado Legal Services: $109,000 for free legal information and advice, full legal representation, education, outreach, and referrals. The money will serve more than 1,800 households and pay for a social worker who will work with low-income clients with complex financial, social, emotional, and medical needs.

· The Community Firm: $600,000, free eviction prevention-related advice, free eviction legal defense, and other free eviction prevention services. The contract would serve more than 1,000 households.

Residents can learn more online about eviction and foreclosure assistance. "Tenants who have been unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused directly or indirectly by COVID-19 may be eligible for rental assistance," the City and County of Denver explains on its website.

The rental assistance program can help pay rent as far back as April 2020. Help can include past due and current rent for up to 15 months.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here.

Denver, CO
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