Colorado is ending its pandemic-era short-term rental assistance program that’s helped 36,000 households in the state

David Zalubowski/AP
A sign indicating the availability of an apartment to rent stands outside a building early Friday, May 28, 2021, in downtown Denver.

Colorado is winding down its pandemic-era short-term emergency rental assistance program. 

The federally funded program has aided more than 36,000 households in the state, most of whom have incomes that are half or less of the median income for their area, the state’s Department of Local Affairs said in a statement.

The application portal will shut down on Nov. 15, and Coloradans who haven’t yet applied for the assistance are encouraged to apply until the deadline. Previously submitted applications that are under review will continue to be processed until all program funds have been used. Once all the money the federal government has given to the state for the program has been given out, the program will end.

The Department of Local Affairs is aiming to maintain all existing rental benefits, but criteria and prioritization are subject to change to make sure pending applications will be paid out. That means those who are already getting assistance could see their benefits change to make way for new applications that are approved.

“While this temporary funding and program is coming to an end, Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs will continue to work with our state and other contracted partners as we support those needing further individualized assistance,” Melissa Nereson, a housing recovery manager with the state, said in a statement. 

The Colorado COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project launched a service earlier this year to provide support and technical assistance to people navigating the end of the program. 

Residents in Denver, Larimer and Boulder counties can still apply to their respective county’s rental assistance programs. The federal government gave the bigger counties separate help from the state to address housing concerns during the height of the pandemic.

Denver will likely end its program starting in April, however, after getting one more chunk of money from the U.S. Treasury, Melissa Thate, the housing stability director of the Department of Housing Stability (HOST) told Denverite.