GUEST COLUMN: Coming together during a crisis is crucial

The Colorado Springs Gazette released an op-ed by Terry Simone, President of the Colorado Apartment Association.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented in our lifetimes. Nearly every Coloradan has been impacted in some way by the pandemic. While there is no playbook on coronavirus response, we are all learning to adjust our strategies for navigating this time. As the rental housing industry calls for additional backing in the face of this crisis, it’s important for Coloradans to do their part to preserve assistance for those most in need.”

“The federal government has implemented financial relief packages, which have helped small businesses remain open and Coloradans remain employed despite our economy grinding to a halt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, just one-third of rental housing providers were eligible for federal mortgage assistance. The other two-thirds, at this point, must rely on rental payments to pay mortgages and all of the other bills and utilities that rent is used to pay.”

“Fortunately, the CARES Act disaster relief package passed by Congress offered unprecedented help to Coloradans and beyond by expanding unemployment benefits to the majority of workers and freelancers. The combination of the CARES Act funding and state unemployment benefits provides Coloradans an extra $600 per week for residents who make up to $75,000 per year in addition to the federal stimulus check of $1,200. Thankfully, these funds have closed the gap for many Coloradans.”

Read more at The Colorado Springs Gazette

Colorado landlords have raised $74,000 for a coronavirus rent relief fund

Denverite reports the Colorado Apartment Association and the Resident Relief Foundation partnered to help people who have suffered because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Now the Colorado Apartment Association, which contributed  $25,000 of the $74,000 raised so far, is asking others to contribute to the national Resident Relief Foundation, which will ensure that donations from Coloradans will help Coloradans.”

“The foundation provides rental assistance grants during emergencies and recently launched an initiative to raise $10 million for rental assistance during the pandemic. The foundation says demand has been so high during the coronavirus outbreak that it is only taking applications from tenants who are facing imminent eviction.”

Read more at Denverite

Colorado temporarily suspends evictions during pandemic

NBC News reports on Colorado temporarily suspending evictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Mark Williams, executive vice president of the Colorado Apartment Association, a nonprofit trade organization representing owners, developers, management companies and vendors in the multifamily rental housing industry, said in a statement that he was surprised by the order. The organization does not believe the governor has the authority to interfere with contracts between two private parties, he said.

“Some local groups are calling for the cancellation of rent during the pandemic. But Polis said at an April 13 news conference that he does not have the authority “to suspend the sanctity of contract law.”

“Williams said the order will not change rental housing providers’ actions because nearly all had already stopped executing and most had committed to working with residents by not charging late fees and by offering payment plans.”

“He said the association is concerned Polis’ order could create unintended consequences, such taking away landlords’ ability to remove squatters who cannot be evicted because of the moratorium. Michelle Lyng, a spokeswoman for the CAA, said some lawyers who are members of the association have been struggling with how to remove squatters, pointing to a case in Castle Rock, where a woman had problems evicting her ex-boyfriend from her home.”

Read more at NBC News