DENVER (CBS4) – More than a dozen people gathered outside the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building in Denver on Thursday to protest recent evictions. The statewide moratorium on evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic ended in June.
The protesters sat in front of the doors to the Webb building in an attempt to stop the eviction process. Police ordered the group to move.
Protesters said as the pandemic drags on, people are still without work and evictions will only add to the number of people without homes in Denver.
“Unless we want more people on the street, this is what we have to do,” said Iris Butler, who joined the protest.
The Colorado Apartment Association disputes the protesters’ claims that the state faces an eviction crisis due to the pandemic. CAA reports 458 eviction cases were filed in Colorado in July, which is a small fraction of the 3,482-average number of evictions filed each month in Colorado over the last two decades.
According to CAA, more than 96.3% of Colorado residential rent payments were made by July 27, which was less than 1.1% below the collection rate for July 2019.
“Rent payments have remained high, in the mid ninety percentages, all through the COVID closures. July was particularly strong and better than some had speculated, now that we’re entering the fifth month of COVID-19 restrictions,” said Mark Williams, executive vice president of the Colorado Apartment Association. “While evictions may creep closer to normal rates in August, the number of evictions is far, far below Colorado’s averages, and we attribute this to the way the community has stepped forward to help renters.”
The eviction process can take months, depending on the county. Victor Sulzer, partner at Colorado law firm, Tschetter Sulzer, said most filed eviction cases are settled prior to a sheriff move-out.
“Only about 5% of all filed eviction cases actually result in a sheriff enforced move-out,” said Sulzer. “Fully 95% of eviction filings get settled in some fashion during the long court process.”
In July, Colorado launched a new housing assistance program, which allocates nearly $20 million in federal CARES Act Funding for Coloradans facing financial hardship during the pandemic. To find out if you qualify, visit cdola.colorado.gov/rental-assistance.
CAA also is providing resources for residents struggling with rental payments through a partnership with Resident Relief Foundation. So far, the fund has raised more than $130,000 for Colorado residents.
The Apartment Association has assembled a list of more than 100 COVID-19 resources for residents, which can be found here.