As confirmed cases of COVID-19 surge locally, Mountain Voices Project seeks government support for its Landlord/Tenant Housing Recovery Plan. Pat Morrissy describes the iniative.
Pat Morrissy joined Mountain Voices Project as a volunteer with English in Action, one of the 29 organizations that comprise this coalition of local nonprofits, education institutions, and religious congregations. This broad-based, non-partisan organization has been in formation for several years and until recently was focused on research to support healthcare and childcare access, among other initiatives, from Parachute to Aspen. The Landlord/Tenant Housing Recovery Plan emerged from the immediate need to respond to financial fallout due to COVID-19.
With the goal of raising $1 million dollars through a combination of public and private donations, the fund would ask that landlords forgive 1/3 of rent due if tenants pay 1/3 and the fund provides the final 1/3. The idea for splitting rent into thirds came from discussions among Mountain Voices Project members as a way of spreading aid, specifically CARES Act assistance, by also sharing the challenges wrought by this pandemic and the subsequent economic hardship.
With over 1/10 raised toward its goal of $1 million, Mountain Voices Project is currently in dialogue with Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties. Having formally presented a proposal to Garfield County on June 15, asking for $500,000, the group was directed to first speak with other nonprofits already offering housing assistance and to obtain commitments from the other two counties.