There about 20 organizations, many of them faith-based, that offer assistance to families and individuals in need of rent assistance in the Denver, Colorado area. Many of the faith-based organizations advise that the assistance they provide is contingent upon the availability of funds, and some of them require that applicants must live within local parish boundaries. The website of the community outreach and referral organization, Helping Out America, recommends that families or individuals seeking rent assistance begin by applying for aid through government assistance programs.
Rent assistance is usually provided on a priority basis to people who are either facing immediate eviction or who are unable to pay their rent because they have experienced a medical emergency or an unforeseen hardship. In 1974, Congress passed the Housing and Community Development Act, which created the Section 8 program. The program was designed to enable qualified low-income applicants to pay 30 percent of their adjusted gross income into their rent with the balance covered by federal funds. The Section 8 program has gone through a series of changes since its inception, received mixed reactions from landlords and the applicant waiting list can often be long.