Gov. Polis, Dept. of Local Affairs, State Lawmakers Announce Rental Assistance Fund
DENVER - Governor Jared Polis and the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) today announced the Property Owner Preservation (POP) Program for rental assistance, resulting from HB20-1410, COVID-19-related Housing Assistance. The Governor thanks Representatives Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver, and Tony Exum, D-Colorado Springs; Sen. Rachel Zenzinger D-Arvada, and Sen. Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, for partnering on this important legislation that allocates nearly $20 million in federal CARES Act funding for housing assistance.
“This has been an incredibly challenging time for many Coloradans,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I want to thank the legislators who worked on this bill and applaud them for their efforts. This fund will help Coloradans who have been financially impacted by the pandemic and need rent assistance. This pandemic is far from over, and we will continue working to do everything we can to help provide some relief to those who have been significantly impacted. We are all in this together and we will get through this together.”
This bill allocates $19,650,000 to the Housing Development Grant Fund administered by the Division of Housing within DOLA. These funds will be used to provide housing assistance, including rental assistance, mortgage assistance, and guidance on how to access other housing services to Coloradans facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While the majority of renters and homeowners have continued to make rental and mortgage payments, there are thousands of households that have been unable to do so due to the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Rick M. Garcia, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. “The POP program will allow for landlords to apply for assistance on behalf of tenants and help with Colorado’s housing stability.”
“House Democrats returned to the legislature in May committed to helping Coloradans affected by COVID-19 make ends meet,” said Rep. Tony Exum, D-Colorado Springs. “We delivered. This new support for homeowners and renters will go a long way towards helping Coloradans make their rent or mortgage and stay in their home. I’ve spoken to countless families in the Springs area and have heard first hand how badly this relief is needed. I’m excited to get the word out today and make sure that anyone who needs housing assistance knows they can visit the Division of Housing’s website to get started.”
“COVID-19 has affected every aspect of our lives – undermining not only our personal health but our economic wellbeing as well,” said Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada. “Countless Coloradans are facing eviction or foreclosure if they don’t receive help, which is why I am proud to see this program launch and for families to get the relief that they so desperately need.”
“Many hardworking families are struggling to pay their bills and make ends meet, which is why we moved quickly when we came back into session to allocate significant resources to help Coloradans pay their rent or their mortgage,” said Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver. “I encourage anyone who may need help staying in their homes to speak with their landlord about this critical program or to visit the Division of Housing’s website to learn how to apply for relief.”
“Even before COVID hit, Coloradans struggled to find affordable housing. But now with so many out of work and federal assistance dwindling, people are utterly desperate for relief,” said Sen. Julie Gonzales, D-Denver. “That’s why this new program is so critically important. By giving property owners and renters access to immediate support, we will be protecting thousands from losing their homes and granting families some much-needed breathing room.”
Coloradans can learn more about the program at cdola.colorado.gov/rental-