By Andrea Flores

DENVER (CBS4) – People struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19 are getting some relief. Gov. Jared Polis is protecting renters by banning evictions through the end of the year.

“I’m getting behind again and it happens so quick,” said renter Greg Ferguson. “Every little bit of money that we have is pretty much going to living expenses and not having to pay rent does help out.”

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The Colorado Apartment Association says they’re disappointed by the announcement.

“At some point you start to create the problem you’re trying to avoid,” said Vice President of Government Affairs Drew Hamrick.

This is the second moratorium for the state. The first moratorium put a stop to evictions after the pandemic hit, but expired in June. Last month, the CDC announced a ban on evictions across the country.

“It only applies to people that are below a certain income level, that have a COVID-related hardship, that have paid all the partial payments of rent that they can pay, and have been unsuccessful in getting rental assistance,” Hamrick said. “It applies those standards to claimed behavioral lease violations, and expired leases and transactions, that just weren’t intended to be covered by the CDC moratorium. It’ a broader moratorium.”

(credit: CBS)

Hamrick says the broader moratorium could have a lasting impact on renters and landlords.

“You have to insist on higher credit standards and higher security deposits because you don’t know if you’ll ever be able to get the property back,” he said. “Part of what’s so perplexing about this is rental payments remain strong in Colorado, in the mid 95 percentile. They’re basically two percentage points off from normal, eviction levels have remained very low, people have been working out these situations just fine, which is part of what’s so surprising about the governor feeling the need for this kind of executive action.”

While some renters say the moratorium is helpful now, many are worried about what happens next.

“You’re still going to have to pay that money back, so all you’re doing is getting into a hole,” said Ferguson.

Andrea Flores

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