COLORADO SPRINGS — There is a looming benchmark in the timeline of the COVID-19 response. The moratorium preventing the eviction of renters is scheduled to end in a week. It is also when the added $600 COVID-19 unemployment benefit is set to expire. The unknown is whether renters have kept up on payments, or if suddenly there is going to be a large number of people kicked out of their living space.
"We just want to do everything we possibly can to keep a large wave of evictions from happening," said City of Colorado Springs, HUD Program Manager, Steve Posey. He is in regular contact with housing advocacy groups in the city. Many are tracking data on the impact of COVID-19, including rent payments.
The information shows some positive indicators for the Pike Peak Region. "Those data indicate that people, by in large are using those stimulation checks and unemployment checks they've gotten to pay their rent and to stay current," said Posey. If the data hold true, it means there will not be a large spike in evictions when COVID-19 benefits expire at the first of August.
What many will watch is what happens in September and October. With benefits gone and many still out of jobs or working less hours they could struggle with rent and other expenses in the months ahead.
Housing advocates in the Pikes Peak Region are working to secure other rent aid options. "We have received some additional funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development," said Posey. Some of the funding qualifies for housing aid.
Navigating COVID-19 aid options is difficult. “They are always changing as far as resources and referrals,” said 2-1-1 Manager, Eric Barnett. The team with Pikes Peak United Way, 2-1-1 work to keep up with what is available and who qualifies. A call to 2-1-1 is a quick and informative resource.