COLORADO SPRINGS — While there is assistance available for renters as the moratorium on evictions is getting ready to be lifted, one group of people affected by the move won’t have much assistance, if any.
It’s the story we keep telling you. For the past few years, with demand soaring, our local rental market has been on an upward trajectory.
“Really rentals of any kind are in high demand,” said Laura Nelson, the Executive Director of the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado. “Of course everything changed with COVID."
The pandemic--putting people out of work, putting people without incomes--led to the government placing a moratorium on evictions.
“I think the vast majority of property owners or managers have really been focusing on getting rental assistance for those who need it,” she said.
But that assistance can only go so far. A study by Moody's found, with all the rental assistance that is out there, nearly 10 million renters across the country collectively owe landlords about $34 billion in back rent. And with the eviction moratorium going away by the end of the month, some families will be told to leave their homes.
“It is sort of a domino effect,” Nelson said.
Because--for landlords--especially independent ones--they too could now be without income.
“As you can imagine, their mortgage hasn’t stopped, so they’re still having to pay the mortgage on the property with or without rent from whatever source,” she said.
And unlike for renters--
“There’s not any assistance for a rental property’s mortgage, that I’m aware of,” Nelson said. “So that has been a huge problem.”
But there is some good news. Compared to the rest of the country, the number of people at risk of eviction in Colorado is fairly low.
“Only about four percent of renters are in the rears currently,” she said.
And with our market in particular as hot as it is experts say the trickle down effects from the moratorium being lifted probably won’t stay for long.
“There’s a lot of demand… enough demand right now, so I most likely believe those units will be filled very quickly,” she said.
On Tuesday, Governor Polis extended the eviction moratorium until June 30.