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State hotline sees increase in calls from people looking for affordable housing

Colorado Housing Connects said they're hearing more often from two-income households that can't keep up with rising rent.

COLORADO, USA — A state hotline is seeing an uptick in calls from people who are struggling to find affordable housing. 

Colorado Housing Connects said they're hearing more often from two-income households that can't keep up with rising rent.

"It's been tough as rents were increasing year over year before the pandemic, and in a lot of ways things aren't getting any easier," said Patrick Noonan, program director of Colorado Housing Connects.

The free hotline went live in 2014 to provide support for renters struggling to make it in a housing market that was becoming more difficult to survive. Navigators can now answer all sorts of housing questions, like how to prevent an eviction.

"Right now we are receiving 1,100 calls per week," Noonan said. "Many of those are affordable housing. That is our second-biggest call type."

Colorado Housing Connects hosts first-time homebuyer classes regularly, but Noonan said fewer people are attending.

"Oftentimes, it's because the cost of not only homes are going up, but interest rates -- inventory's at record lows," he said.

RELATED: Denver home inventory increasing, but prices remain high

According to Noonan, it is generally harder to find affordable housing for people with very little income. He said one of the best options for them is subsidized housing, but the waitlists to move in can be years long.

"Your long-term plan might be to get your name on as many waitlists as possible, but there are short-term options as well that are important to consider so you do have a roof over your head," Noonan said. 

One idea hotline navigators are offering to people is homesharing, or renting a room in someone's house. 

If you have housing questions, the Colorado Housing Connects hotline number is 1-844-926-6632.

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