EDGEWATER, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Housing Connects received a grant for $927,000 last month to help the organization serve people struggling to pay rent or keep their homes. Since the start of the pandemic, they have received thousands of calls to their housing hotline and will use the money to double their staff.
“Across Colorado, for a long time, we had seen rising rents, rising home prices and really just a tight housing market,” said Patrick Noonan, the housing manager for Colorado Housing Connects. “We’re really trying to act as a resource there to make sure that people’s housing is met, that they are able to come up with the resources they need.”
The effort is one of the programs run by Brothers Redevelopment, Inc. The nonprofit offers housing and services to support people in danger of losing their apartment or home.
The hotline started in 2006, focused on foreclosures, and then eventually picked up cases related to evictions. Since 2014, they have taken on both issues.
“Things have stabilized but people really need to make sure they’re not thinking about today,” Noonan told CBS4 on Wednesday. “But they’re also thinking about where they’re going to be in a couple of months and that’s hard for a lot of people given this crisis.”
The market was already a challenge before March and the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus has complicated the situation for many in Colorado including those locked into a lease with a high monthly rent and those unable to pay their mortgage.
While there are moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, they only delay the pending problem.
CBS4 was there as one member of their hotline team took calls on Wednesday from people asking for help. Some explained they did not have a monthly income at the moment, others said they have young children and they’re struggling with all their expenses.
The hotline has received 17,782 calls since March. The grant will help them answer more calls, as well as educate the public on their rights, which are important first steps before providing financial aid or addressing legal matters.
“We’re gearing up to make sure the resources are there,” Noonan said. “That people have a first place to turn to and that they know who might be an advocate for them when they need help.”
For more information about Colorado Housing Connects, visit their website. You can also call their housing hotline at 1-844-926-6632.