In early 2023, AARP reported on the growing issue of high rent costs threatening to displace seniors from their homes. “Being forced to move because of surging rents in the past year has become a common occurrence across America,” the report stated, noting that the median rent in the U.S. was over $2,000 per month. “The impact of all this can be particularly harsh for the 30 percent of Americans over age 55 who rent their homes,” AARP said. The Urban Institute reported that almost a quarter of older renters spend more than half of their income on rent. This compares to the rule of thumb which says housing costs should not exceed 30 percent of one’s income.

About the same time as AARP’s report, a Colorado business journal told a similar story, reporting that nearly 35 percent of Colorado seniors surveyed were fearful that they won’t be able to pay their next month’s rent. The journal said this constituted the highest percentage in the nation of seniors voicing such a fear. This was based on a survey that used U.S. Census Bureau data and polling of seniors struggling to pay their upcoming rent. That survey found that over 32,000 out of almost 94,000 Colorado seniors contacted expressed eviction concerns.

The AARP report further noted that research shows adults age 65 and older are “the fastest-growing group of homeless people, and their numbers are anticipated to triple by 2030.” High unemployment rates for adults 55 and older are often cited as a contributing factor to senior housing insecurity, along with the difficulty of obtaining emergency rental assistance. For instance, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers housing vouchers to help pay for rent, but it can be difficult to find landlords who accept the vouchers, and even getting a voucher can literally take years. Community organizations offering subsidized housing for seniors are reported to have waiting lists of as long as two to five years. There is a similar waiting list for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher program that subsidizes rent for very-low-income seniors. AARP noted that only seven states allow for rent control at the state or local level. Colorado is not one of them. A measure was introduced in the 2023 General Assembly to permit local rent control, but it did not pass.

Steps Coloradans should take regarding rent challenges

Legal experts and other senior advisors generally agree on steps people should take if and when rents threaten to become unaffordable. These include the following:

  • Know what your rights are. For instance, did your landlord provide legally required notice of rent increases in the specified time frame? You might want to talk to your fellow tenants to see what their experience was with notices.
  • Consider negotiating. Particularly if you have been a good, long-term tenant, you may be able to win a smaller rent increase. But be sure you get any agreement in writing.
  • Before signing a more expensive lease, think about getting legal advice. You can’t be in breach of a pricier lease if you have not signed one. But realize this may only delay the process and does not prevent you from being evicted.
  • IMPORTANT: Pay attention to any eviction notice. If you don’t show up to eviction hearings, you can lose your case by default. And an eviction on anyone’s record can make it much more difficult to rent somewhere else. Note that in Colorado, the legal time frame for eviction notices can vary from a few days to three weeks depending on the reason for the eviction.

Sources of help for Coloradans

One more step to take: Explore sources of help. In most cases, there are agencies and nonprofits — local and others — that may be able to intervene on your behalf and/or offer direct financial assistance. One place to start is with your Colorado Area Agency on Aging (AAA), which may be able to refer you to sources for the help you need. You can find Colorado’s AAAs, which are AgeWise Colorado Providers, at

Another AgeWise Colorado Provider to contact is Colorado Housing Connects (CHC) ( CHC, with support from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), has been helping people find answers to housing issues for close to 20 years, beginning when the Great Recession that put many in crisis. CHC says, “Now we face a new challenge: helping Coloradans with their housing needs in a time of skyrocketing costs. We are here for you . . . your eviction and foreclosure prevention partner.” See their website or call 1-844-926-6632.

DOLA ( provides an extensive list of additional rental advocacy and assistance resources, many of them free or low-cost. Here are some of the key ones:

The Colorado Judicial Branch has eviction forms and links for assistance programs. See
To locate a Court Self Help Center to help you understand these forms, see

For rental assistance, see To connect with a representative CALL OR TEXT:  1-888-480-0066 / M – F 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Mountain Time; Saturdays 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

For legal assistance, see Colorado Legal Services ( There you will see a specific category identified for housing and tenant issues. There are 13 CLS offices located across Colorado, which you will see by clicking on the ‘Office Hours and Contact Information’ link. 

The Colorado Poverty Law Project aids in dealing with evictions, especially where questionable or illegal actions are suspected. If you need immediate assistance on a housing-related issue, email Or call (303) 293-2217.

DOLA also suggests these additional sources of low-cost legal services:

On a closing note, as we have reported earlier on our AgeWise Colorado website, remember the 2023 Colorado General Assembly did enact some renter-friendly legislation. One measure caps at $300 any additional security deposit required due to you having a pet (HB-1068). Another mandates that mediation take place between landlord and tenant prior to any eviction (HB-1120). Two other measures address landlords’ responsibilities regarding the safe and healthy habitability of rented housing (HB-1254) and required notices with respect to radon presence and testing (SB-206).