The two largest housing providers in East Colfax — Hope Communities and Rocky Mountain Communities — announced Tuesday that evictions would be suspended for residents who could lose their housing amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The East Colfax Nonprofit Renter Relief Platform will provide “immediate support” by putting a moratorium on evictions for vulnerable residents living in nonprofit apartments in the East Colfax neighborhood.
“As nonprofit housing providers from the East Colfax neighborhood, we have been steadfast in our commitment to keep our residents stably housed,” Sharon Knight, CEO of Hope Communities, said in a statement Tuesday. “That commitment continues now and we have set additional measures in place to minimize risk for our community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know our clients are some of the most vulnerable in the city and feel a great responsibility to help them through this difficult time,” she said.
More than a quarter of residents living in the East Colfax neighborhood live in poverty, according to city documents. About 26% were born in a country outside of the United States.
The commitment will remain in place for two months and will be renewed monthly by housing providers “until the height of the pandemic has passed, or circumstances prevent them from continuing,” the East Colfax Neighborhood Association said.
In addition to halting evictions, housing providers will also suspend issuing legal notices, charging late fees for rent, or increasing rent for anyone affected by the virus.
“The action taken today by East Colfax nonprofit housing providers is the prime example of the leadership we need to see in this moment of crisis in our community,” stated Brendan Greene, co-founder of the East Colfax Community Collective. “We call on others to follow the leadership of Hope Communities and Rocky Mountain Communities and call on the funders to direct critical resources to these efforts and be the backstop to the nonprofit housing providers who are the backbone of our community.”