What the numbers say about Montrose’s housing issue

Homes under construction in English Gardens. (Courtesy photo/Stephanie Yeager) 

Montrose renters seeking assistance from the Colorado Division of Housing and its housing relief programs have been approved for more than half of the $452,000 in emergency rental assistance funds they requested this summer.

As of Oct. 11, 164 payments have been approved to Montrose applicants, totaling $321,000, up from the $272,000 the agency had approved through early July, according to the Department of Local Affairs’ DOH housing relief programs dashboard.

Data on new applications and the amount residents in the county have requested since July were not immediately available.

DOLA, which launched the program in March, has been issuing funds to residents statewide from its Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP), Emergency Housing Assistance (EHAP) and Property Owner Reservation programs.

Although thousands statewide are still waiting for approval of their applications, the additional funds to Montrose renters come as payments sped up in August and September.

Since mid-July, 19 applications from Montrose residents have been approved for ERAP, totaling $48,100 in funds. That’s an increase from the seven applications and $14,000 in funds that were approved from late-April to July.

As of the week of Oct. 10, $62,100 have been approved for Montrose ERAP applicants.

“Our mission to keep Coloradans safely and stably housed through the pandemic is an enormous undertaking, and we strive to become more efficient in our processes every single day,” said housing director Alison George in a statement. “However, our efforts don’t slow down when COVID does. There are still plenty of people in need and there are resources that can help.”

The ERAP program is paying out $6 million per week. Previously, that total was paid out per month.

Payments in September have increased with DOH using bill.com, which it started doing in August, just as the national eviction moratorium expired.

As of Oct. 20, DOLA has paid out $177 million in emergency rental assistance. More than 55,000 payments have been approved statewide and nearly 15,000 requests have been denied — likely due to applicants acting non-compliant, missing specific documentation or sending duplicate applications — for all three programs combined.

Statewide, the dashboard shows over 30% of applicants requesting assistance from the EHAP and ERAP programs are Hispanic or Latino. Over 40% are white, with applicants that are black or African American just below 20%.

Latest on the housing market

The median sales price in Montrose County for single-family homes in September 2021 was up $384,950, up 16.7% year-to-year, according to the latest data from the Colorado Association of Realtors.

The association also reported an increase (31.3%), in average sales price, which reached $457,989 after settling at $348,769 in September 2020.

Sold listings for September 2021 — 80 — matched September 2020, though new listings dropped 3.7%.

Inventory of homes for sale for single-family homes decreased for the fifth consecutive month, dropping 27.5%. It’s a trend that local real estate agents credit to a shortage of inventory and property owners holding off from selling if they can’t find a new residence.

The median sales price in Montrose County has risen nearly $200,000 since hovering just above $200,000 in 2016, according to the report.

Dennis Bailey of Coldwell Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties, who has been a realtor in Montrose since 1978, last month told the Montrose Daily Press he sold his first home for more than $1 million this year.

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press

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