BY ROCHELLE SCHLORTT
Across the Pikes Peak region, people who lost a job or had work hours reduced during COVID-19 are scrambling to stay in their homes. During the first several months of the crisis, several stopgap measures were put in place to help keep families housed.
Governor Polis formally banned most evictions from April 30 – May 29 during which time landlords were not allowed to charge late fees. In mid-June, the temporary statewide eviction ban expired sending renters rushing to negotiate with their landlords or find other living situations. Properties with federally backed mortgages such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had evictions delayed until late July. Unemployment payments with the extra $600 per week, along with stimulus checks, helped families pay rent and mortgages. That extra unemployment payment ended July 31 so families who still have a breadwinner unemployed or underemployed are struggling to stay in their homes.
At Catholic Charities, we have seen more requests for rent and mortgage assistance than ever before. But thanks to the support of individuals, businesses, and foundations, these families have been given more time to work out their financial situations while getting one-time rent support from us.
By mid-August, Catholic Charities had helped over 300 households with $250,000 in rent assistance. Hopefully, for most, this will be enough until they are back on their feet, but as COVID-19 drags on and more businesses stay closed or close again, it is unlikely that a one-time payment will be enough to see them through this economic crisis.
Requests for food, emergency services, child care, and utility assistance through COPE are all on the rise. If you can afford to help these struggling families through this unprecedented time, please consider making a donation at www.CCharitiesCC.org/donate. These are hard times. If you cannot make a financial gift, we ask for your prayers.
Update to evictions: CDC issues eviction moratorium, with guidelines, through the end of the year – https://www.koaa.com/news/coronavirus/what-the-cdc-eviction-moratorium-means-for-colorado
Rochelle Schlortt is the Chief Communications Officer for Catholic Charities