KUSA - Ryan McMaken, spokesperson for the Colorado Division of Housing, visited 9NEWS Thursday morning to discuss housing options for victims of the Colorado flooding.
RECENT COLORADO FLOODING STORIES
Vacancy rental units in northern Colorado and the metro Denver region are very scarce right now. The metro Denver vacancy rate during the second quarter was 4.2 percent. The rate was 2.2 percent in Greeley and 3.4 percent in Boulder. It was 3.2 percent in Loveland. Anything below 5 percent is a tight market, and once the rate gets down around 3 percent, you're basically looking at a situation in which rental units fill up immediately upon becoming available.
So, even before the floods, rental housing was hard to find. After the floods, which occurred shortly after new students arrived in places like Boulder and Ft Collins, housing is even more scarce.
Flood victims in search of housing will often need to look beyond nearby communities and may have to seek units closer to Denver and further east.
Rent growth was also significant before the floods, so renters are likely to encounter rising rents as well.
To help with this, the Division of Housing and other organizations such as the Colorado Apartment Association are sponsoring a site called ColoradoHousingSearch.com. This site is free for renters and landlords to use so that we can identify where there are empty units available. This is the same site we used following Hurricane Katrina to find housing for displaced households.
People can visit the website or they can call this number: 1-877-428-8844 and a person will assist in the use of the site.
Almost 1,700 units have been added to ColoradoHousingSearch.com since the disaster.
More than 21,000 people registered with FEMA from the affected counties with Boulder, Larimer and Weld represented 85 percent of those registered. There are 13 disaster recovery centers open. More than 500 people are using temporary sheltering assistance. About $35 million in individual assistance has been provided to victims as of Thursday.
To receive money or help for "Housing Needs" that are the result of a disaster, all of the following must be true:
- You have losses in an area that has been declared a disaster by the President.
- You have filed for insurance benefits and the damage to your property is not covered by your insurance or your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your losses.
- You or someone who lives with you is a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.
- You have a valid Social Security Number.
- The home in the disaster area is where you usually live and where you were living at the time of the disaster.
- You are not able to live in your home now, you cannot get to your home due to the disaster, or your home requires repairs because of damage from the disaster.
Victims can find out if they are eligible by applying online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone 1-800-621-3362. People can also apply in person at a local disaster recovery center.
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