BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – With nearly 1,000 structures gone, impacted families of the Marshall Fire are now having to consider where they’re going to live for what could be any length of time. At a time when rental vacancies are at a record low, it may take some digging, but there are resources to help.
For Lary and Mary Boven, their faith community is helping them start over.
“Everything we had was gone so quickly,” Lary said.
Initially they turned to family for support, but Lary says once he realized their home was destroyed his thinking shifted.
“Then I started thinking what about what we are going to do long term,” he said.
On Sunday, just a few days after being evacuated, they are at home in an apartment above a church, miles away from the area they loved for more than 30 years.
“They had all this brought in for us,” he said while showing CBS4 around.
With 991 structures lost, they are not alone when it comes to needing a new place to live. Drew Hamrick with the Colorado Apartment Association says with vacancy at a record low they knew some would need a place to start.
“We were trying to figure out a way to make our database available to users to figure out exactly what properties are available and what could substitute for emergency housing for them,” he said.
They have complied a list of properties in the surrounding area and identified hundreds of available units. Hamrick says not everything will be a perfect fit.
“Everything his upturned for these folks. They are trying to preserve the same school districts for their kids. They’re trying to preserve a reasonable commute to work and each and every housing unit doesn’t fit with each and every person, people are going to have to sift through a lot of different inventory to find what works for them,” he said.
While Lary and his wife may have been looking for something much different to start, his faith community knew what the perfect fit would be.
For other evacuees not searching, his best advice, don’t count anything out.
“I think they’ve got to be flexible it’s not going to be exactly the way…it’s never going to be the same,” He said.