With rising rents across Colorado, many people are facing eviction. It is why the city of Denver is now providing attorneys to help those families who are eligible.
Field Majors was one of thousands of Coloradans kicked out of his home during the pandemic.
“I was mad, and the residents that were there were mad, too,” said Majors. “The people that are struggling to fight for their own rights, don’t have access to the resources, the monies.”
Advocates tell CBS4, currently, eviction rates in Colorado are exceeding pre-pandemic levels, despite millions of dollars set aside for rent relief.
“The housing crisis is not only a Denver problem,” Javier Mabrey, an attorney with the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project said. “And the reason why is that rents are going up… by a lot, 15 to 20% rent increases.”
The average cost of a one bedroom apartment in the Denver area ranges from $1,700 to $2,000. As rent continues to rise in the Denver metro area, city councilwoman Candi CdeBaca said it’s an issue that heavily effects the people in her district.
“Our laws never caught up to protect renters in this state,” CdeBaca said. “We have a state very much ran by landlords and real estate development.”
She wants to make sure her constituents know their rights as renters, which now includes the right to legal counsel when facing eviction. City Council members collectively donated $131,500 to start Denver’s first Eviction Legal Defense Pilot. The free legal help is being provided by Colorado Legal Services.
“So that one, they have a better chance of not having an eviction on their record, but two, the real goal is to keep people housed,” said CdeBaca.
A service that Majors now hopes to utilize, and hopes others will too.
“People find out what legal rights that you have,” Majors said.