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The phonelines are ringing at Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632) in light of the end of the federal eviction moratorium.

Since the Supreme Court rejected the Biden administration’s moratorium on evictions last Thursday, Colorado Housing Connects has seen a 55% increase in inquiries. On Monday, the housing helpline received 241 inquiries alone.

That number marks the most inquiries Colorado Housing Connects has seen since March 17, 2020 — a day after Gov. Jared Polis ordered Colorado bars and restaurants to close. That day, 229 inquiries were submitted to the housing helpline.

“So much has changed since March 2020, but the severity of the need hasn’t receded. The demand for housing answers is as urgent today as it has been since COVID-19 first hit,” said Colorado Housing Connects Manager Patrick Noonan.

Colorado Housing Connects has been an important asset for Coloradans throughout the pandemic as more than 59,452 inquiries for housing help have been submitted to the housing helpline. It assists landlords, renters and homeowners by connecting residents to local resources like rental/mortgage assistance, legal assistance, HUD-approved housing counselors and more.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Brothers Redevelopment has also been working tirelessly to administer funds for multiple rental assistance programs.

At an Aug. 30 Denver City Council meeting, Council elected to award Brothers an additional $3 million to distribute through the city’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program — a financial resource available to Denverites. Brothers also administers funds for the statewide Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Tenants who are behind on rent are encouraged to contact Colorado Housing Connects, apply for rental assistance, pay as much as they can toward their rent and to proactively communicate with their landlord.


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Life quickly changed for Parker resident Jessica Hopf in fall of 2020 when her 21-year-old son died unexpectedly.

While she was mourning the loss of her only child, tragedy struck Hopf again when she lost her job in the middle of an economic crisis that the coronavirus pandemic caused. Facing eviction, Hopf researched resources that could keep her in her home when she stumbled across Brothers Redevelopment’s housing helpline, Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632).

After calling Colorado Housing Connects, helpline navigators connected Hopf to legal services that kept her in her home until she was able to obtain rental assistance through Douglas County and Colorado’s Emergency Housing Assistance Program — a financial resource that Brothers Redevelopment administered funds for.

“It kept me from being in the street. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I lost my housing,” said Hopf. “I was literally drowning in bills and facing homelessness. It saved my life.”

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of Coloradans in crisis like Hopf have called Colorado Housing Connects to access crucial resources like financial assistance for rent and mortgages, legal assistance, government certified housing counselors and more.

Colorado Housing Connects is operated in partnership with the state and offers counseling services for renters looking to become homeowners, tenant and landlord laws and rights, eviction advice, mortgage payment issues and more. Residents can also call the helpline to learn about programs offered by Brothers Redevelopment like its affordable communities, Home Modification and Repair Program, which repairs and rehabilitates homes for disabled and elderly homeowners, Landlords Opening Doors Program, a program that helps residents in transition recovering from health issues and leaving rehabilitation to find housing, and other Brothers Redevelopment services.

“(Colorado Housing Connects) is really on top of things, and they can get you the resources you need. I hope this gets out to somebody who needs help,” said Hopf. “There are so many people that are really suffering right now, and if they use Colorado Housing Connects — their staff is just so caring and giving.”


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on June 24 that it is extending its federal eviction moratorium until July 31.

The extension further prevents the eviction of tenants who are unable to make rental payments. The Associated Press reported that the CDC will not extend the moratorium again after July 31. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey estimates that as of June 7, around 3.2 million people in the country said they faced eviction in the next two months.

In light of the eviction moratorium being extended, Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632) Manager Patrick Noonan offered tips for tenants who are currently behind on their rental payments.

Here are Noonan’s tips:

Contact Colorado Housing Connects

There are a number of things a tenant can do to catch up on rent and protect themselves against eviction. This information changes regularly so one of the best things you can do is speak to an eviction prevention expert at Colorado Housing Connects. You can submit an inquiry through our website or call 1-844-926-6632 for more information.

Apply for Rental Assistance

If you need help catching up on rent due to a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply for rental assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Denver residents can apply for the city’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program and email the application to BRITRUA@brothersredevelopment.org.

Pay as much as you can toward the rent

One requirement for renters seeking legal protections from eviction is to pay as much as they can toward the rent. Every little bit helps and can make it easier to catch up on the rent down the road.

Provide your landlord with a CDC eviction moratorium declaration form

If you had a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for some eviction protections under the CDC Eviction Moratorium. If you are eligible, you have to take action to protect yourself by providing your landlord with a copy of the declaration paperwork.

Proactively communicate with your landlord

Many landlords are willing to work with tenants who are behind on rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that you let your landlord know you are applying for rental assistance and doing everything that you can to pay the rent.

Seek other assistance to help you stay afloat

There is help available for food, medical needs, utility assistance, employment assistance, and more. Seeking help with life’s other needs can give you more breathing room when it comes to your budget. To learn what resources might help, contact Colorado Housing Connects to learn more.

 


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Brothers Redevelopment’s Carlo Nicastro fell in love with the medical field when he was working as a paramedic for the Sierra Madre Fire Department in California from 2010 to 2015.

With dreams of being a doctor on his mind, Nicastro moved back to Mexico — the place where he was born — to go study medicine at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine. The school has an international program, and Nicastro said he had classmates from all over the world, including from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and other countries.

Nicastro’s plan was to finish school and return to the United States. But he met his wife and the two decided to stay in Mexico where he worked as an emergency room physician at a private hospital in Playa del Carmen — a costal resort town in Mexico.

While at the hospital, Nicastro practiced life saving skills on patients and worked as an assistant surgeon during a variety of procedures like C-sections, gastric surgeries, orthopedic surgeries and more.

“Everything about medicine just fascinates me. Obviously, I like to help people out,” said Nicastro. “But I’m an adrenaline junky. I work well under pressure so working in the ER was something that spoke to me.”

After having two children, Nicastro and his wife packed their bags and moved to California where they stayed at for eight years before settling down in Colorado Springs last December. In Colorado Springs, Castro traded in his surgical scrubs for a new career as a senior service navigator for Brothers Redevelopment’s Aging in Place Initiative — a free program that works to help seniors age comfortably by connecting them to resources and services like Medicaid, Social Security, food assistance, rental/mortgage assistance and more.

Nicastro said his time as a doctor has helped him transition into his new role, because his past career helped him be emphatic.

“A lot of people that reach out to Brothers and need our help are in desperate situations. Being able to listen to them and be emphatic is an advantage,” said Nicastro. “There are a lot of elderly people that have a lot of medical conditions. We can talk about what that looks like and what the options are as far as getting help.”

Outside of serving Colorado Springs seniors through the Aging in Place program, Nicastro and his wife operate a food truck in the city called “Dr. Taco.” They originally started Dr. Taco in Playa del Carmen in 2003 before bringing the food service to Colorado Springs.

Seniors interested in the Aging in Place program can access it by calling Brothers Redevelopment’s housing helpline — Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632).

“The most rewarding part of my job is getting that call back to thank us for our work and being able to solve some of these issues for these elderly people that don’t have anywhere else to look for help,” said Nicastro.

 

 


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Brothers Redevelopment’s helpline surpasses 100,000 calls

DENVER Brothers Redevelopment, Inc., a trusted nonprofit since 1971, has been bringing answers home to Coloradans with the Colorado Housing Connects helpline for five years. At mid-2019, we hit and surpassed the 100,000th call mark.

The Colorado Housing Connects free phone line, 1-844-926-6632, specializes in helping people navigate non-emergency housing services and resources. Our bilingual helpline provides information about a wide range of housing services and topics of interest to renters, landlords, first-time homebuyers, seniors, persons with disabilities and anyone with fair housing concerns.

Callers can receive help with all housing-related questions — from how to avoid foreclosure or eviction to the best ways to ensure that you get your security deposit back, improve credit scores, budget for home buying or handle disputes with landlords or tenants.

This one-of-a-kind housing helpline was first conceived in 2006 when the Colorado Division of Housing selected Brothers to manage The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline and its network of some 26 housing counseling agencies across the state. The successful effort drew national acclaim.

Recognizing the needs of callers for reliable information on all housing topics, Brothers expanded the service in 2014, creating the state’s unique housing resource now known as Colorado Housing Connects. This comprehensive housing helpline enables consumers to navigate with our experts through all housing concerns.

Today, the helpline receives some 2,300 calls a month and has experienced a 41 percent surge in just the past two years. 

“The response to Colorado Housing Connects reflects the need among residents across our state for reliable and immediate information that helps consumers makes informed decisions about their housing situation, whatever it may be,” said Jeff Martinez, Brothers Redevelopment president. “The resources we can offer in these situations, along with the housing trends we can track and identify that are occurring in neighborhoods, towns and cities, offer real value to public officials working to address pressing housing challenges.”

Brothers uses CHC data to inform sand shape the types of counseling, classes and resources we offer the public — ensuring that we are responsive to the housing needs of diverse Coloradans. 

It’s common for the housing navigators who sit in the Colorado Housing Connects call center to hear from residents in more than a third of the state’s 64 counties in any given month.  They’ve responded to inquiries from towns as disparate in geography and income as Aspen and Arriba.


“Our navigators are trained to look for resources across the state, whether you live in Denver metro, rural Colorado, or anywhere in between,” says CHC manager Patrick Noonan. “We are able to help each caller explore what options might be available to them. Whether it is a tenant-landlord issue, someone looking for affordable housing, a homeowner in distress, or any other number of housing issues, our helpline can point them in the right direction.”

Colorado Housing Connects is also the gateway to all of nonprofit Brothers’ successful housing programs, including Paint-A-Thon and Home Modification and Repair, which  promote and protect affordable and sustainable housing for Coloradans, and help senior and disabled families and homeowners age in place.

For more information about Brothers’ free services: www.brothersredevelopment.org.


2250 Eaton St., Suite B,
Denver, CO 80214

Main Phone Number: 303-202-6340
CHC Phone Number: 844-926-6632
Brothers Property Management:
877-751-9990
TTY 711
info@brothersredevelopment.org

Copyright Brothers Redevelopment Inc. 2013-2021. All rights reserved.

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