BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - Money from a new $2 million relief fund is now available to any homeowner displaced by the Marshall Fire. The Colorado Association of REALTORS® Foundation is coordinating the fund and began accepting applications from homeowners on Jan. 13. Funding is available until April 8 on a first-come, first-served basis.
"It was shocking and devastating to see the imagery, to hear the stories of what people experienced," said Amy McDermott, executive director of the Colorado Association of REALTORS® Foundation.
While parts of the Marshall Fire were still smoldering on New Year's Eve, McDermott began coordinating with her board and other realtors around the state. The group's hope was to find a way to spring into action.
"Within 24 hours we were looking to see how can we help and where and how fast?" McDermott said.
Soon, the decision was to start a fundraising effort. About two weeks later, the Colorado Association of REALTORS® Foundation was ready to start distributing money from a $2 million grant awarded by the REALTORS® Relief Foundation.
"This is the biggest single incident aid package we have put together," McDermott said.
The organization will provide up to $3,000 of assistance per household impacted by the recent fires. Eligible applicants must use the money for the monthly mortgage or rental payment of a primary residence that was damaged by the wildfire.
"That could be because their home was destroyed. It could also be because their home was damaged but still standing but they can't live in it," McDermott said.
"It's intended to pay one month of your housing. To give you a roof over your head for one month."
According to McDermott, the goal is to provide wildfire victims with some relief while they handle insurance claims and search for temporary housing.
"That's the biggest period of uncertainty, it's the hardest, darkest period that these victims have to walk through, so our hope is that this funding can bridge that gap and get them through that period of time before some of these bigger supports, like homeowners and renters' insurance, kick in," she said.
So far, 315 people have applied, and 82 have been approved. McDermott says there's enough funding to potentially provide every impacted household with some assistance.
"We know there's well over 1,000 that this could potentially be really important and impactful for, so we're here, we're ready when they're ready to apply."
Grant details and access to the online application process are available on the Colorado Association of REALTORS® website.
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