Rent and utility assistance available in Douglas County

The funds will go to those financially impacted by COVID-19

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Douglas County residents behind on their rent or utility payments because of COVID-19 financial impacts may be eligible for assistance through the county’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, according to a news release from the county.

Douglas County will distribute $8.4 million in direct assistance using funds received from the U.S. Treasury Department through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. These funds will be used to assist qualified Douglas County renters with future rent or utility payments through 2021, according to the release.

Renters in the county who are behind on their rent or utility payments can review eligibility information to see if they can qualify and apply beginning March 1. Eligibility information and the application are available at www.douglas.co.us/rent-assistance.

“Colorado began 2020 with the nation’s fifth lowest unemployment rate and now has our country’s fourth highest unemployment rate. Many in our community are unemployed or have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19, struggling to pay their rent and utilities,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon, the vice chair of the board, according to the release. “Douglas County wants to do everything possible to help our citizens get back on their feet.”

The county has partnered with five local nonprofits to process applications and distribute payments directly to the landlord, property manager or utility provider. Qualified renters can apply for assistance through one of the following partners: Catholic Charities, Douglas County Housing Partnership, Help & Hope Center, Manna Resource Center or The Rock Church.

“In partnership with these organizations, we believe this program will help renters avoid evictions and have increased housing security,” said Commissioner Lora Thomas, the board’s chair, according to the release.

“This federal program is intended to help the hard-working families of Douglas County whose incomes were detrimentally impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Commissioner George Teal, according to the release.

Landlords, property managers or utility providers who have customers they believe may benefit from this program can direct them to douglas.co.us/rent-assistance.

Those interested, including renters, landlords, property managers and utility providers, can join a live town hall at 5:30 p.m. March 10 to learn more and ask the county questions about eligibility and the application process.

This program is intended for rent and associated utility obligations only and can’t be used by homeowners for mortgage payments or utility costs, according to the release. The Douglas County Housing Partnership — online at www.douglascountyhousingpartnership.org — is available for mortgage assistance.

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