An Early Warning System

Since May, as many as 6 to 8 million Americans have slipped into poverty as employment numbers stay high and federal safety net supports remain in limbo. Eight months into the pandemic, it is clear that the full economic toll of the coronavirus is yet to be seen. However, what we do know is that a coordinated community response is vital to protect those who are most severely impacted.

This summer, EFAA began working with the City of Boulder, Boulder Housing Partners, mediation and eviction court representatives, and other local leaders and landlord groups to form an early warning system to detect a rise in evictions. By regularly “taking the pulse” of how the coronavirus is impacting residents and landlords alike, the group has given a broad coalition of housing stakeholders a platform to work together to prevent a potential surge of evictions in our community.

“At first, we were building the plane as we were flying,” said Renee Gallegos, Community Investment Program Manager with the City of Boulder. “But having this group has led to unprecedented opportunities to work together and communicate better as we try to respond as effectively as possible to this crisis.” The Boulder Housing Supports group meets monthly to share information and plan for what’s ahead — the idea being that the earlier we can detect trends, the quicker and more effectively we can respond.

“The City is so grateful to the many housing and service partners committed to serving those at risk of losing housing during these extraordinary times,” added Kristin Hyser, Deputy Director of Housing and Human Services with the City of Boulder. “EFAA is a leader in this work meeting the challenge tirelessly, proactively and with compassion.”

In addition to this partnership, EFAA has received a $100,000 grant from the City of Boulder through the CARES Act that allows EFAA to provide even more assistance to families seeking support. The Coronavirus Relief Fund helps families and individuals impacted by COVID-19 who have fallen behind on rent to receive multiple month’s worth of rental assistance.

While this crisis continues to evolve, EFAA is dedicated to remaining nimble, responsive, and informed. We are committed to being a leader in our community’s response to ensure critical supports are available to our neighbors impacted by this crisis.