What the city of Denver is doing to cut down on evictions

Denver and Colorado are focusing on another housing problem -- people getting evicted from their homes. The city rolled out a plan to help those dealing with eviction to avoid being put out.

KUSA - Denver and Colorado are focusing on another housing problem, this time it’s the issue of eviction.

Tuesday, the city and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock rolled out a plan to help those dealing with eviction to avoid being forced out of their homes.

In 2016, there were about 40,000 evictions filed in county courts across the state. At least 3,700 of those were in Denver, according to numbers from the Denver Sheriff's Department.

RELATED: Amid soaring rents, thousands face evictions in Colorado annually

The mayor's office announced a new program consisting of three parts that city leaders hope will first educate then help those dealing with eviction.

The first is a new landlord and tenant guide that will list the legal rights both the tenant and landlords have.

In addition to that guide, the program will offer mediation services so that a landlord and tenant may be able to resolve any dispute and negotiate what is needed before the eviction process is triggered.

READ: Denver's eviction plan 

Because the majority of evictions are due to a tenant owing money to the person they are renting from, the city will provide money to help those getting close to eviction with rent and utilities.

The city will put each case into one of two categories: lower-income families and higher-income families.

“The DHS provided assistance is really geared toward lower-income families, those experiencing 0 income to $25,000 to $28,000 a year,” Erik Soliván said, executive director for the mayor’s Office of HOPE.

The money to help those families who are in a higher income level would come from the city's Office of Economic Development.

A spokesperson for the city says a person wanting help would be eligible for up to 6 months services -- which could include rent or utilities -- from the program.

9NEWS reached out to a landlord and tenant attorney who said it seems like this program could help with the increasing evictions rate, but it would take time to see that change.

So far this year there have been almost 3,000 evictions filed in Denver county court.

Tuesday morning, Hancock said the goal is to make sure people are able to stay in their homes. The city believes this program is a step in that direction.

Some of the programs for the lower-income families are ready to go and people can apply for help now.

The mayor’s office says other programs for higher-income families will be announced sometime in November.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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