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State, county officials work to offer financial relief for renters, homeowners in COVID-19 crisis

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April 1, 2020, 11:50 am

With rent and mortgage payments for April coming due now on the first of the month, Eagle County and Colorado housing officials are scrambling to work out deals to protect renters and homeowners coping with the massive economic drop-off due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

At the state level, Gov. Jared Polis on March 20 signed Executive Order D 2020 012 to “temporarily limit evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnection to mitigate, respond to and recover from the current economic disruption due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado.”

Polis also  encouraged financial institutions holding residential or commercial mortgages to follow the lead of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and halt foreclosures and related evictions when they’re the result of “a substantial decrease in household and business income due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

And the Colorado Department of Housing has developed an Eviction Resources Map to be used with 211 to help renters avoid eviction. The division also has a new page on its website with housing-specific resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the county level, the Eagle County Housing Authority has been busy, starting with the county’s Lake Creek apartments in Edwards.

“We plan to offer a 50% reduction of rent in April, 25% in May and 25% in June,” Eagle County Housing’s Kim Bell Williams wrote in an email. “This rent reduction will be forgiven by the [Eagle County] Housing Authority.”

Williams said other workforce-type housing complexes are also working on relief packages.

“In my conversations with similar complexes, I have learned several other measures are being taken on a case-by-case basis,” Williams said. “Eagle Bend, Buffalo Ridge and Kayak Crossing plan to defer rent for April. The plan for repayment is to be determined.”

At the Eagle River Village mobile home park, where community advocates have been very concerned about the COVID-19 impacts in the densely populated park, financial relief is also a huge issue for working-class residents who are losing their jobs in large numbers.

“Eagle River Village mobile home park is offering deferred rental payments to those who may need it, on a case-by-case basis,” Williams said. “They are asking tenants to communicate with them their needs.”

Park owner Ascentia can be contacted by email at contactus@ascentia.us or by calling (303) 730-2000. Or residents can call Eagle River Village Community Manager Maria Cisneros at (970) 446-8646.

Williams said there’s also work being done in the Eagle County corner of the Roaring Fork Valley.

“Crawford Properties in El Jebel plans to have a similar plan to work with tenants on an as-needed basis,” Williams said. “Across the board, all are waiving late fees and not pursuing eviction. To my knowledge, the financial institutions are not providing relief or deferral for the loan payments.”

Eagle County on Wednesday also announced it’s working to postpone property tax payments. Here’s that press release:

The Eagle County Assessor’s Office is working closely with the Colorado Division of Property Taxation to postpone the upcoming personal property reporting deadline. Because most Colorado businesses are not operating or have limited staff and resources due to the impact of COVID-19, late filing penalties and fees will be waived for the April 15 filing of Personal Property Declarations. 

A proposal to change filing dates and Notices of Value has been sent to the Governor for
an Executive Order. Once the order has been signed, the county will communicate the new
official dates.

In the meantime, for residents who are able to complete the Declaration but need assistance, the Assessor’s Office is available at 970-328-8640 or at assessor@eaglecounty.us. Filing Electronic Personal Property Declarations is strongly encouraged. Personal Property Declaration filings can be emailed to assessorpersonalproperty@eaglecounty.us. Filers will receive an automatic confirmation email receipt for their records. Filings may also be faxed to 970-328-8679

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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