My name is Yasira Sanchez, I am a resident of Aurora and a member of United for a New Economy. UNE is a multiracial organization that builds people power for racial and economic justice for all Coloradans.
I am a single mother of 2 kids, ages 6, and 7. I came to Aurora 3 years ago, seeking asylum from Honduras. I am still waiting on the courts to decide on my case. I work cleaning offices Monday through Friday, which only provides me with 25 hours of work a week at $15 an hour. I’ve been looking for full-time work or even a second job, but that is hard to come by. I make $1,625 a month and my rent is $1,200 for a 2-bedroom apartment. That does not leave much leftover, except for food. We need rental assistance for lower-income households like mine.
I wish that my story was unique, but I know many other families that are in the same situation. Last year, UNE and 9to5 Colorado partnered with the Human Impact Partners to research the impact of rising housing costs on health equity in Colorado.
What we saw was the pandemic had only worsened the situation for renters in Colorado:
· 1 in 5 renter households, and 1 in 3 households with children, weren’t confident they could make next month’s rental payments.
· Two-thirds of households with children thought it was likely they would be evicted.
More needs to be done to ensure that those of us who are extremely low income and low-income households have access to rental units and future developments must include units at 30% AMI and below. Keep families like mine in mind as you make funding and policy recommendations to ensure there is truly affordable housing for those that need it most.