By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4)– The number of Coloradans seeking support for evictions is back to pre-pandemic levels. Nearly 1,000 people reached out to Colorado Housing Connects last week alone.

(credit: Getty Images)

“Nobody wins when people are evicted,” said Patrick Noonan, program director for Colorado Housing Connects.

Noonan explained there’s been a surge of calls to the state’s housing hotline recently. The week of Jan. 10, he said the program saw a 31% increase in call volume. According to state data, more than 2,600 eviction cases were filed by landlords in December.

“What we saw in December was almost as high as it was in February 2020 before the pandemic hit,” Noonan told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “It’s concerning taking it in conjunction with rising eviction filings across the state that has grown 20% in December compared to October.”

As for why this is happening, Noonan said it is likely a few things – the federal eviction moratorium being lifted last August, some financial safety net programs have ended, and yet another wave of COVID-19 cases. It’s all contributing to the difficulty many Colorado families are having to make ends meet.

(credit: Getty Images)

“We’re concerned that not only are we seeing a lot of evictions in cold weather months,” Noonan said, “but also as the omicron variant is running rampant, this is the exact wrong direction we need to be headed in.”

All the more reason why Colorado Housing Connects is reminding people that financial assistance is available. Not just for renters, but for landlords as well. Noonan said anyone who needs support should not wait to reach out.

“Many struggling renters don’t know the help is out there and they don’t access that help soon enough,” he said. “We’ve got to encourage tenants and landlords to both come to the table to seek assistance so that we can keep more people housed, and hopefully reduce the spread of COVID, and keep a roof over people’s heads in these cold winter months.”

HOUSING ASSITANCE RESOURCES:

Colorado Housing Connects: https://coloradohousingconnects.org/ | Hotline: 1-844-926-6632

*They’re holding a free COVID-19 Eviction Prevention Legal Workshop on Jan. 27.

Registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FJ_U4zBNSJaZzIYrnsnpmA

COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project (provides emergency rental assistance and legal services): https://cedproject.org/

Kelly Werthmann