LAST item: Updating Boulder's eviction prevention services.

So No Eviction Without Representation was a citizen petition; it got amended and passed by voters then was renamed/expanded ---> Eviction Prevention Services, because it now included rental assistance.
Basically, provides rental assistance and legal representation to renters facing eviction through a $75 tax per unit of rental housing.

It's already been amended once to apply to mobile homes, and tonight will be extended further.
So the NEW new name will be: ---> Eviction Prevention and Rental Services Program
What's the expansion? To cover "any related proceeding to assist a tenant to remain housed”

“By the time that parties are engaged in eviction process, perspectives often become too entrenched and there is less time and willingness of the parties to secure rental assistance dollars, obtain legal advice and negotiate an outcome to avoid the eviction”
Expansion of services will allow interventions before eviction proceedings officially start — when renters are “threatened with an action that may lead to eviction”

Will also pay for dispute resolution, moving expenses for new living situation if eviction is inevitable.
64 clients have used Eviction Prevention Services since January
Legal - 26
Rental assistance - 12
Mediation - 3
All services - 4
Legal + Rent - 8
Legal + Mediation - 8
Mediation + Rent - 5
No data on outcomes, but HHS' Carin Armstrong (of the mediation services) says "most if not all" have been able to avoid eviction.
Some other clarifications/changes being made tonight: A requirement that landlords must notify tenants of EPRAS when they serve: notice to quit, demand for compliance or a notice to terminate Section 8
And also a proposal to exempt all affordable housing, not just BHP. There are a couple options for this: Any nonprofit-owned housing, or just units that are permanently affordable.
And when I say exempt, I mean from paying the tax — they would still be required to provide info to tenants, and services are still available to those tenants, to be clear.
That $75 tax per unit will be collected on property tax starting in 2022. Until then, services are being paid for out of the general fund (council appropriated $1.03M in Feb)

County will charge 1% fee to collect it (which is cheaper than the city administering it)
HAB supports all these updates, btw.
Also, found this little tidbit (which will come in handy many other places, methinks) in the notes for this item:

Boulder has 7,000 rental license holders (landlords) who together own 20,000 units

92% (6,500) own 2 units or fewer
Swetlik brings up new state legislation about deferring property taxes which staff (and I) are not aware of. They'll look into it, says Wagner the Friendly Ghost.
I would like to apologize to Wagner for my comments. Not bc they're not accurate (dude's lighting is WACK) but bc bureaucrats don't generally sign up to be publicly tweeted about. Much less tax specialists.
Back to business!
Forgot to mention, but the city will soon be seating the tenant advisory committee, who will oversee this program, collect data, etc. They will be all renters, paid $1,000 a year for their service — unique among city boards/commissions.
Weaver asking about when landlords have to notify renters of the services available to them. The first step is the demand notice, which is NOT the eviction (or get-out) notice. Renters have 10 days (currently 30) to "cure" or fix whatever the issue is.
Is there a requirement that landlords inform anyone else that they're doing that? Weaver asks
No, Armstrong says. "And it really is dependent upon the tenant to contact us. ... Tenants haven't been getting that notification" bc landlords weren't aware of this requirement.
Actually, Armstrong said BARHA (the landlords association) wasn't aware of it, which is stunning.
Weaver: "We don't want to make this onerous, but if they also had to inform the city it was happening, it seems like that would be a proactive way for the city to know what was going on" so we could provide services.
"A lot of folks who get a notice like that are going to be frightened" and overwhelmed, Weaver says. They might not look at all the paperwork.
Kristin Hyser: This is very staff-intensive work, bc we're providing light case management, basically. Reaching out, following up even past the court proceeding, etc.
Armstrong: "Workload could be an issue. The dockets are much smaller than the number of demand notices. That volume is much larger."
Julie Van Domelen from EFAA is here. They operate some emergency transitional housing and so therefore would be subject to a fee exemption, depending on what council decides. (They are a nonprofit)
EFAA is also a huge distributor of rental assistance. $3.5M in the last year; $1M is typical, Van Domelen says.
"I do think we're preventing a lot of evictions," Van Domelen says.
Time for my dutiful disclosure that I once worked on a contract basis for EFAA. I don't currently.
I hope I got the rent assistance figures right. I heard a soft "wow" from someone on council to what I thought Van Domelen said, so I think it really was that much.
She mostly just thanked staff, as Brockett is doing now. Additional shoutout to NEWR. Important not to forget this was citizen-led... this would NOT have happened without a petition.
All council in favor of this, so that's it for this public hearing and the meeting.
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More from @shayshinecastle

16 Jun
Moving SO FAST. Next item is the vaping tax. Slides:…
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We have moved on to the consent agenda. A few things will get some time. Appointing Planning Board members for CU South votes is the first.
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