Despite Denver’s deep economic slump, sheriff’s deputies have resumed enforcing evictions this month, with many residents already in line to be kicked out of their homes.
Public Safety Director Murphy Robinson confirmed late Thursday that he issued the order to the Sheriff’s Department late last month and evictions resumed July 1. It is not yet clear how many evictions have already been carried out.
Robinson ordered a pause in evictions in mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic hit Colorado, but he told The Denver Post that it’s important to resume to align with Gov. Jared Polis lifting the statewide moratorium on evictions.
“We’re hearing from people that have an issue with us not being able to provide the service of evictions, where people are staying on their properties without permission,” Robinson said.
That causes suffering for landlords and property owners, he said. And not all evictions, which are ordered by a judge, are related to the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
“Some people can’t pay rent and then there are some other issues that are underlying here that go beyond not being able to pay because of COVID,” Robinson said.
The decision to resume the evictions came from Robinson, Mayor Michael Hancock and other city leaders, he said.
“It was a very tough call,” Robinson said. “At the end of the day it’s important to make sure that there’s a diversity of mechanisms in place that allow for property owners and homeowners to have rights. This is one of those mechanisms.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.