Program provides legal and financial services to community members facing eviction.
The City of Boulder has released the Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Services (EPRAS) program annual report which highlights successes and challenges from the program’s second year.
The EPRAS program launched in January 2021, after voters passed the No Eviction Without Representation measure in November 2020, to help meet the needs of community members facing a potential eviction. The program is funded through an excise tax paid by landlords on each property they operate with a rental license and helps people resolve eviction-related housing issues through legal services, rental assistance and mediation.
“In this second year, the EPRAS program has grown considerably to meet the high demand for services in our community,” said Carin Armstrong, community mediation and resolution center manager. “The EPRAS team has worked tirelessly this year, dealing with complex situations and exploring all options with each tenant to help them retain their housing and prevent eviction.”
The report summarizes the second year of EPRAS program operations. Key highlights include:
- 534 tenants were served, a 77% increase over 2021.
- $456,237 in rental assistance distributed to 82 households, a fourfold increase over 2021.
- $394,720 distributed to the Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) to support rental assistance.
- 124 tenants received legal services through EPRAS.
- Evictions were prevented in nearly 70% of cases at eviction court, up from 50% compared to pre-EPRAS.
- Expansion of the EPRAS staff team.
In its second year, EPRAS operations were guided by input from the Tenant Advisory Committee (TAC), a five-person committee providing lived experience as renters in the City of Boulder. TAC meets quarterly and members receive a stipend of $1,000 per year. You can learn more about the committee and current committee openings on the city’s website.
In 2022, EPRAS saw an increase in demand for services and rental assistance as pandemic-related assistance programs began to wind down. This trend is continuing into 2023 and the EPRAS team expects to see sustained high demand for rental assistance which will likely exceed the program’s 2023 budget. In this case, adjustments to funding criteria and program guidelines may occur to maximize available funds to help the most tenants.
To learn more about EPRAS and read the full annual report, visit the city’s website.