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Free rent offer in Summit County draws attention to need for affordable housing

A real estate company in Breckenridge has started a program to help people who need help paying their rent.

A Summit County business owner started a project that's taking applications to find an area person or family in need of assistance -- and pay up to $5,000 towards their rent.

Tanya Delahoz, owner of Breckenridge-based Swell Summit Real Estate, said she originally launched the "Dwell Well Project" to "start the conversation of renting and the cost of renting in Summit County."

“If we can make an impact on one person or one family living in Summit County by either helping them with a down payment to get a house or padding an emergency fund in case of a crises, we want to help them," Delahoz said.

Through the project, a panel in February will pick the winner, and then pay three months of rent for them (up to $5,000).

Delahoz said she started the project because she understands the difficulty many Colorado residents have with paying their rent. Housing prices have climbed, and more landlords are renting their homes on a short-term basis to vacationing tourists, leaving fewer long-term rentals available.

She said she remembers how the cost of the first home she rented in Summit County 20 years ago compares with prices now.

“The house I rented in January 2000 when I first moved here was a 3-bedroom house rented for $1,000 a month. Last spring it rented for $4,000,” Delahoz said.

Delahoz she can't change the rising cost of housing, but wants to help where she can.

If you would like to apply or know someone who could use some help you can fill out an application at this link: DwellWellProject.com