AURORA — Tenants continue getting hit with soaring rent prices across the Denver metro area, despite some areas seeing small decreases.
Denver7 looked into what financial help is available to help people struggling to make ends meet.
Lucretia Nutt has been living in a one-bedroom apartment in Aurora for a year. When she went to renew her lease recently, it had increased by $130.
She’s living in the apartment with her 16-year-old son, living paycheck-to-paycheck. Now she is paying around $1,100 - $1,200 for a one-bedroom.
Nutt says she’s looking at what resources are available to help, so she can hopefully get into a bigger place soon.
“Luckily, there are some programs that you know, help. I'm still learning what all these programs are. I want to see if I can qualify for Section 8. I hate to do that, you know, I want to do this on my own, but it feels like it's almost impossible,” said Nutt.
According to a recently-released Apartmentguide.com report, rent prices for some of Denver’s most expensive neighborhoods are decreasing while prices in more affordable areas are increasing.
Denver7 asked Arapahoe County housing officials what kind of help is out there for those facing financial hardships.
They say people can check what type of benefits they’re eligible for, such as SNAP benefits, Medicaid and Workforce Center Aid, on the county's website.
Section 8 is also an option for those who qualify – but the county says the wait list is long and not always open.
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There are also COVID-19 related emergency funds available.
“Currently, right now, the county is doing emergency rent assistance with the Emergency Rent Assistance Program that was approved through the federal government, and the funds were pushed down to us,” said Linda Haley, who is the Community Development and Senior Resources Division Manager.
She says the program provided a million dollars worth of rental assistance in Arapahoe County in December and around $940,000 in January.
However, this aid is usually short-term. The county is looking to approve funding for affordable housing developments in the works.
Rental Assistance Resources:
- Colorado's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides short-term rental assistance for any household experiencing a negative financial impact as a result of the pandemic.
- Colorado income qualifications.
- COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project
- Family Promise of Greater Denver works with people experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness. They do so by providing a spectrum of services, ranging from shelter and meals to rental assistance.
- Other programs that can help people locate rental assistance include Mile High United Way, Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Services, and the Salvation Army.