By Jamie Leary
DENVER (CBS4) – The City of Denver is delivering on part of its promise to help those who feel like they’re being priced out of the city.
On Wednesday, the Temporary Utility and Rental Assistance Program (TRUA) began accepting applications. It’s all part of a 5-year, $150 million housing plan announced in September by Mayor Michael Hancock.
“It’s really delivering on a commitment on our 5 year affordable housing plan that the Mayor and I announced a few weeks ago. Where we’re providing programs today that can help keep families in their homes. So families who may be experiencing a financial crisis, a rental crisis, a housing crisis. This program is designed to help them stay in their homes by providing that direct financial assistance,” said Erik Soliván.
Erik Soliván is the Executive Director of Mayor Hancock’s new Office of Housing and Opportunities for People Everywhere, or HOPE. He’s been in the role for about 10 months and taken on the challenging task, tackling Denver’s issues with homelessness and affordable housing.
“This is part of the challenge and what wakes me up in the morning is how are we designing programs to help families today. The TRUA program is one of those programs,” said Soliván.
For those who qualify, TRUA can cover up to 80 percent of monthly rent for a period of six months.
“It’s really targeting individuals with a household income $47,000, up to a family of 4 with a household income of about $67,000 a year. So looking at those workforce families throughout the city that are in some of those changing neighborhoods and how do we provide direct financial assistance to keep them in their homes,” said Soliván.
The program not only offers assistance with the cost of rent and utilities, it can help those facing eviction. The city works with Denver municipal courts to provide a mediation diversion for people experiencing eviction.
To find out more, all you have to do is dial 311. From there, you are connected with one of two non-profits working with program — Brothers Redevelopment, Inc. or Northeast Denver Housing Center. Both are there to walk you through the process and help connect you with resources.
The city expects TRUA will be able to assist up to 300 Denver families.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.