Colorado’s only statewide housing helpline — Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632) — is hearing from more Coloradans in need of housing assistance more than ever before in the housing helpline’s 17-year history.
For thousands of callers, the assistance is urgent as they face an eviction or foreclosure due to falling behind on their rent or mortgage. In August, 8,073 inquiries were submitted to Colorado Housing Connects for housing assistance. Eviction prevention continues to represent the dominant need from Colorado Housing Connects’ clients followed next by affordable housing and tenant-landlord issues.
Still other callers are desperately searching for affordable housing as rents and inflation continue to climb across the state. Older adults are calling for urgent repairs that can help them in stay in their homes as winter approaches.
“It’s tempting to think that the upheaval of the pandemic is receding. The spike in calls for help we’re receiving says otherwise,” said Colorado Housing Connects Program Director Patrick Noonan. “It’s more desperate than ever before for a lot of the families we hear from. The threat of homelessness and displacement looms large for far too many people. Our team works incredibly hard to respond with the compassion and insight our clients need to make it through this influx of instability. It will only get more difficult for those struggling to make ends meet as student loan payments resume.”
The more than 8,000 inquiries represent a 60% increase in clients reaching out to Colorado Housing Connects compared to August 2022 when the housing helpline received 5,047 inquiries. Last month, 66% of inquiries submitted to Colorado Housing Connects were from Colorado renters seeking eviction prevention resources and rental/utility assistance.
The recent numbers even surpass those that the helpline received during the height of the Great Recession, when foreclosures reach an all-time high in Colorado. At that time, calls peaked at just over 4,000.
“Our goal is to maintain our capacity to help during this current crisis,” Noonan said. “People are desperate.”
Often working in partnership and collaboration with several state and local agencies, Colorado Housing Connects has been a beacon of hope for Coloradans during troubling times. Since the pandemic began, the CHC navigators have been focused on preventing evictions by connecting Coloradans rental and mortgage assistance and other long-term sustainable solutions, informing residents about the eviction process and their rights, and by connecting residents to legal referrals.
Brothers Redevelopment, the housing nonprofit that operates Colorado Housing Connects, offers a variety of other resources to struggling renters including Denver’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program. Since 2018, Brothers has administered more than $10 million in rental and mortgage assistance to neighbors across the state.
Those who are behind on rent or facing eviction are encouraged to contact Colorado Housing Connects to speak to an eviction prevention expert, apply for rental assistance, and to seek assistance with life’s other needs like food, medical needs, employee assistance, and more.