Struggling with Housing Costs

Denver is an expensive city. One area in which Denver is particularly expensive is in housing costs. This is true whether you own or rent. The Denver housing market is 36 percent more expensive than the United States average. Moreover, Denver ranked seventh in the nation for housing cost increases in 2022. Even New York and Portland didn’t see such extreme housing rate hikes last year. How can Benefits in Action help with rising housing costs? The answer is simple. Keep reading this article for more details.

Benefits in Action can help those facing increased housing costs by giving individuals access to different government benefits, so they can allocate their finances to housing costs. Some of these programs include Medicaid, Medicare, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program (TANF), our pro bono Tax Program, and Social Security benefits. Benefits in Action also operates a food delivery program for homebound individuals. This program, combined with more long-term solutions to food insecurity like SNAP, can save folks a lot of money.

Each of these programs comes with an estimated amount of savings for a household. For example, SNAP saves households an average of $1,260 a year in food costs, while TANF gives households an average of $5,148 a year, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) gives the average household $8,040 a year. The average tax refund this year is $2,753. While that is down from last year’s average tax refund, it is still a substantial amount. Health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid can potentially save folks even more money that would otherwise be spent on premiums, deductibles, and copayments. 

You might be wondering whether you qualify for one of these programs. If so, there is a quick and easy way to determine tentative eligibility for government benefits. That way is through Benefits in Action’s web page featuring an online software called “My Friend Ben.” You can access the “My Friend Ben” software to screen yourself for potential benefits by going to www.benefitsinaction.org, selecting Services, then selecting Book a Navigator. The tool takes about 10 minutes to complete and can give a printout of all benefits for which you are arguably eligible. Even better, the printout is saved in BIA’s files, so that BIA’s Intake Coordinators can schedule you with the navigator that is the best fit for your needs. 

However, we do want to stress that BIA does not provide direct housing assistance. By that, we mean that BIA does not have funds to give directly to individuals for housing costs and generally does not complete housing applications. Our assistance is more indirect in that the money you save from other benefits can go toward your housing costs. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it is a good start. And most of those who come to our doors report that they are satisfied with the services they receive. As one client put it, “Benefits in Action is a vital lifeline. Benefits such as SNAP and Medicaid have empowered me to make positive life choices and helped me get well. Without Benefits in Action, I don’t know where I would be. “

Do you need relief from Denver’s high housing costs? Are you looking for more information on what government benefits may be available to you? If so, contact BIA for more information. You can reach us at 720-221-8354 or by email at info@benefitsinaction.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

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