Dozens of low-income residents in need of housing help in Larimer County will get a boost just after the new year.
Housing Catalyst, a nonprofit that manages the federal housing assistance program, has received 75 additional mainstream vouchers to support non-elderly people with disabilities and those experiencing homelessness.
The nonprofit will begin reaching out to people on its extensive waitlist in January. No new applications will be accepted, housing manager Kim Iwanski said.
Housing choice vouchers, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provide financial assistance toward the cost of renting a house or apartment in the community.
Voucher recipients pay a portion of their rent, based on income, and use the voucher to make up the gap.
Applicants must meet income, age and disability requirements; preference will be given to people experiencing homelessness.
“The voucher program allows us to serve a very vulnerable population in the community,” said Michele Christensen, Housing Catalyst’s chief operating officer. “These resources come at a critical time when experiencing homelessness presents an even greater risk during a pandemic.”
In addition to the mainstream vouchers, Housing Catalyst will receive funding for six Foster Youth to Independence Vouchers, which is part of a federal effort to prevent and end homelessness among youths.
The nonprofit has also requested and is awaiting approval for 22 additional housing vouchers to support veterans.
With the new vouchers, Housing Catalyst will have 1,351 in January. The bulk of the vouchers, 35%, are Housing Choice Vouchers, which serve families earning 50% or below of the area median income.
Another 29% are mainstream vouchers, like those that will be distributed in January.
Fort Collins’ AMI this year is $65,900 for a single person, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A person earning 50% of AMI would make about $32,500 per year.
The need for housing assistance in Fort Collins outweighs the availability of vouchers so much that Housing Catalyst has closed its waitlists. When new vouchers become available, Housing Catalyst works off of that waitlist to identify potential applicants. If there are still vouchers available once it has gone through the applicants on the waitlist, Housing Catalyst will reopen it.
Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at email@example.com. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.