By Jon Sarche
Colorado Judicial Department
The Colorado Judicial Department announced Wednesday it has opened the application process for fiscal year 2021 grants from the Eviction Legal Assistance Fund, which funds programs that provide civil legal assistance to help indigent persons who are experiencing an eviction or are at immediate risk of an eviction.
The application form is now available at https://www.courts.state.co.us/Administration/Unit.cfm?Unit=eldf. Applications must be received by the State Court Administrator’s Office by 5 p.m. on July 27 to be considered for a grant.
The program was established by the General Assembly in 2019 to help indigent persons experiencing an eviction or at risk of an eviction obtain legal services at no cost to them. To be eligible, organizations must be nonprofit and currently serving the legal needs of indigent persons at risk of or experiencing an eviction. Successful organizations must be prepared to provide full legal services, including but not limited to providing legal representation to indigent tenants in any forcible entry and detainer proceeding or action for monetary damages or other lease violation, legal assistance prior to the filing of an eviction, or any other judicial actions in which legal representation is necessary to protect the interests of an indigent tenant.
Additional information regarding the fund and qualifications for organizations receiving grants may be found in section 13-40-127 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.
Grants will be awarded based on a formula which considers factors including number of clients served in the past year and the location of service. For fiscal year 2021, $600,000 is available for grants used for the purposes discussed above.
As a result of enactment of House Bill 20-1410, an additional $350,000 is available for grantees providing legal representation to indigent tenants to resolve civil legal matters arising on and after March 1 for evictions or impending evictions related to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional $350,000 is available only through Dec. 30.
Applications will be accepted only via email at Sierra.Candelaria@judicial.state.co.us. The deadline to submit an application is 5 p.m. on July 27. Questions may be directed to Candelaria at the email address above or by calling (720) 625-5972.