DENVER – On Saturday, dozens of tenants living at the Clarkson Lodge in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood will be evicted.
The mass eviction has been postponed several times, but tenants have been told the eviction is moving forward on April 30.
“I'm scared because I don't have nowhere to go,” said Yvonne Martinez, a Clarkson Lodge tenant. “I don't have nobody. My mom and dad died, that's why I'm here… it was a cheap place for me to stay.”
Martinez pays $650 a month to rent a room in the boarding house.
“If the sheriff comes, they’re going to take my stuff and that's the little bit of stuff I’ve got,” Martinez said.
Colorado Poverty Law Project founder and CEO Tom Snyder said his organization is helping Martinez and other tenants with housing resources.
Snyder said after a Denver7 report first made his organization aware of the mass eviction, the Colorado Poverty Law Project helped delay the move out date.
“We were able to send a letter to the owner of the property to remind them of what the notice requirements are and were able to negotiate a six week stay,” Snyder said.
Snyder said across the state, the Colorado Poverty Law Project is seeing more mass evictions with similar short notices.
“We're seeing a lot of older properties that either might have functioned as SROs or hotels at one point in time being redeveloped, gut rehabbed, and at the same time, we're seeing mass notices to these tenants that they need to leave, oftentimes not in compliance with state or local law,” Snyder said. “We had a case in Colorado Springs last week where everyone's key cards were just automatically shut off. We had to go into court to get a temporary restraining order to get tenants back in and keep those tenants housed.”
Snyder said he suspects Clarkson Lodge will be turned into a high-end property, leaving many like tenant Wayne Wegman priced out with few options.
“It's hard to get cheap places nowadays, everything's so expensive,” Wegman said. “Three times, this makes like the third time I've been told leave.”
Both Wegman and Martinez said they know Clarkson Lodge has its issues. They said the building has bedbugs and maintenance problems, but they want to stay in the place that’s become their home.