Nov 21, 2017
Need help now? The city is using the 3-1-1 call center to route residents looking to access housing assistance. Residents can dial Denver’s main information line, 3-1-1, and press 6 for help. Information is also available at Denvergov.org/housing.
The following tools are part of a collaborative effort to address critical and immediate needs of people facing utility shutoff, eviction, or displacement early in the housing crisis continuum.
The Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program supports low- and moderate-income residents facing a crisis that could result in the loss of their home.
To qualify for the program, households must show a current financial or other housing crisis, such as a notice of rent increase that makes existing housing unaffordable, evidence of uninhabitable living conditions like a notice of public health violations, a past due notice, or loss of a job. Eligible households may earn up to 80 percent of area median income, which is up to $47,000 annually for an individual or $67,100 annually for a family of four.
Participants can receive up to six months of rental assistance of up to 80 percent of contracted rent, and/or up to two months of utility assistance not to exceed $1,000. All rental and utility assistance will be paid directly to the landlord/service provider.
This program is offered in coordination with the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Eviction Assistance program, which provides a dedicated, onsite DHS outreach worker to eviction court to connect residents onsite to any number of public benefits, including eviction assistance or first month’s rent or deposit assistance.
Administered by Denver Human Services, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) helps qualifying low-income households with winter heating costs by paying a portion of home energy bills. To qualify, the household may earn up to 165% of the federal poverty index, which is $19,896 annually for an individual or $40,092 annually for a family of four. Both home owners and renters who have at least one legally present household member are eligible to apply for LEAP. The LEAP Program will receive applications through April 30, 2018.
In Denver, 8,309 households received help with their utility costs during the 2016/2017 winter months thanks to LEAP. Residents who wish to apply may call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (432-8435), or visit www.denvergov.org/LEAP.
In additions to these programs, households may also qualify for:
- The Crisis Intervention Program, which provides help with repairing or replacing a home’s primary heating system, such as a furnace or wood-burning stove;
- The Weatherization Program which can help improve home energy efficiency; and
- The Property Tax/Rent/Heat Credit (PTC) rebate which is offered to low-income seniors and those with a disability.
The city also launched a new landlord-tenant mediation service that aims to engage an experienced mediator to resolve disputes between residential landlords and tenants through negotiation before and after an eviction process is triggered. Either the landlord or tenant may engage with mediation services prior to the start of an eviction proceeding or, if an eviction is filed, during the three-day period prior to the case coming before the Court or prior to a decision by the Court. The final-outcome of the mediation will be a formal understanding that is binding on the parties as reviewed by the Court. Through mediation, eviction proceedings will be more balanced, allowing tenants an opportunity to access financial resources to stay in their homes. This free pilot service is being offered in partnership with Community Mediation Concepts and may be accessed by calling 3-1-1.
Landlord Tenant Guide
The city worked in partnership with more than 15 tenant and landlord organizations, Denver County Courts, the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and other stakeholder groups, to develop a new, comprehensive Tenant-Landlord Guide that provides an easy-to-understand breakdown of the rights of both residential tenants and landlords in the City and County of Denver. The guide also provides residential renters and landlords with a list of financial and mediation resources to help resolve disputes without going to court. The guide will be available online immediately at www.denvergov.org/housing as well as in Denver County Courts, at the Pro Se Resource Centre, and at various resource locations throughout the City.
*** The city is using the 3-1-1 call center to route residents looking to access housing assistance. Residents can dial Denver’s main information line, 3-1-1, and press 6 for help. Information is also available at Denvergov.org/housing. ***