Amid Colorado’s growing affordable-housing crisis, there are roughly 850 evictions filed with courts every week across the state. According to data compiled by the Colorado Judicial Branch and Denver County Court, there were at least 44,000 evictions filed across the state in 2016. Evictions can lead to unnecessary displacement, increased financial insecurity, and transitional or long-term homelessness.
Taking a closer look at the eviction problem, CCLP’s Jack Regenbogen and Aubrey Hasvold of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless reviewed 860 cases initiated by the Denver Housing Authority as well as 1,060 cases brought by seven private housing managers, reveals that tenants are significantly underrepresented by attorneys in eviction cases in Denver. While landlords were represented in 100 percent of the cases, tenants were represented in only about 2 percent of those same cases.
The study also shows that evictions disproportionately affect neighborhoods with more people of color and areas of rapid growth and gentrification. “Facing Evictions Alone” includes recommendations for rectifying the problem, including funding legal defense, revising the due-process procedures for tenants facing evictions, and expanding the availability of emergency rent assistance.