Program provides legal and financial services to community members facing eviction.
The Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Services (EPRAS) program launched in January 2021 to help meet the needs of community members facing a potential eviction. The program helps people resolve eviction-related housing issues through legal services, rental assistance and mediation.
This program was swiftly implemented after voters passed the No Eviction Without Representation measure in November 2020 and is funded through an excise tax paid by landlords on each property they operate with a rental license. The EPRAS Program is part of the city’s Community Mediation and Resolution Center which works with community partners to provide landlord-tenant mediation and maintains resources for landlords and renters.
“The EPRAS program was developed to help members of our community avoid eviction and encourage housing stability in Boulder. Through rental assistance, legal guidance and mediation services, our team has responded to over 350 inquiries from community members facing eviction, loss of housing or lacking the ability to pay rent,” shared Jason Allen, EPRAS Program Coordinator. “This program has had a tremendously positive impact in our community, especially for those families who have been able to stay in their homes.”
The report summarizes the first year of EPRAS program operations. Key highlights include:
- EPRAS team formed, and legal services contract initiated with Bridge to Justice.
- 390 tenants contacted EPRAS to access services before or at court.
- Evictions prevented in 63% cases at eviction court, a 26% increase compared to pre-EPRAS.
- Tenant Advisory committee formed and began quarterly meetings.
- $168,536 in rental assistance distributed to 82 households.
- Application of the racial equity tool to assess services and avoid disproportionate impacts on people of color community members.
After one full year, the program is working to update its policies and procedures in the second quarter of 2022 with the help of the Tenant Advisory Committee. As the program enters its second year, staff will begin work on an outreach strategy, with a focus on racial equity, to increase awareness of available services. The program is looking to build on the work done in 2021 as an important tool for a community still recovering from the pandemic.
For more information, visit the city's website.