DENVER (KDVR) — Government protection against evictions was set to end Tuesday in Colorado. Landlords would have been legally allowed to start the eviction process in court despite the ongoing pandemic. Governor Jared Polis prevented evictions from happening earlier in the pandemic. He extended that protection late Monday.
In July, Governor Polis issued an executive order requiring landlords give tenants 30 days of notice to pay outstanding rent and avoid eviction.
Without a deal in Congress to continue stimulating the economy, those who are laid off fear lowered unemployment benefits could eventually force them into eviction court.
“[When] push comes to shove, we’re going to be homeless,” Scott Lowry of Denver said.
Five months after being laid off, Lowry says he still hasn’t received a dime of unemployment.
He worked as a stagehand, who was hired as needed, to set up events at places like Red Rocks and the convention center in downtown Denver. He’s says he’s been juggling 11 different W2 tax forms and the labor department’s automated phone system.
“I don’t know what it is I’m doing wrong [on the computer] that it’s not going through,” Lowry said.
Meanwhile, Lowry says he can’t afford rent at the Southwest Denver home he shares with his ailing mother.
“My mom is 73 years old with MS and heart disease,” he said. “What am I going to do with her?”
Tenant advocates warn of an eventual spike in evictions that could put more people in harm’s way during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Landlords still need to pay their mortgage and argue eviction protections can’t continue forever. The state is encouraging landlords to create repayment plans with tenants to avoid a massive amount of evictions.