O n Thursday, Dec. 30, the Marshall Fire ripped through Colorado’s Front Range. Fueled by 100 mile per hour winds and drought conditions, the blaze spread quickly through Superior and Louisville, two densely populated towns in Boulder County. By Friday morning, it was the most devastating wildfire in state history, having destroyed more than 900 homes and businesses. More than 30,000 residents of Boulder County were evacuated, and thousands were left perma- nently displaced, their homes burned beyond repair. In the short term, some victims of the Marshall Fire may stay with friends and fam- ily or find hotels. Fairly quickly, though, these residents will need quality medium- term housing, and in a historically tight Denver mar- ket, vacant units are difficult to find. Many are search- ing for ways to help their fel- low Coloradans, whether that’s pro- viding temporary housing, offering financial relief or supporting the emergency servic- es work of first responders. Thanks to the public-private partnership of several government agencies, hous- ing associations and nonprofits, there are dozens of opportunities to assist the relief effort. Here are three ways the Apartment Associa- tion of Metro Denver recommends helping victims of the Marshall Fire. n Replacement housing. In 2022, Colorado’s inventory of available rental units remains well below statewide demand. During third- quarter 2021, the vacancy rate in metro Denver was just 3.8%, a near- record low. Many of these vacant units are in the process of being “turned,” or prepared for an incom- ing resident. Of all the vacant units in metro Denver area, very few are available for rent and immediate move-in. In the housing market, fewer than 1,600 single-family homes and 600 condos currently are listed for sale in the whole of the metro area. Whether a resident is looking to rent or buy, options are severely limited. As displaced residents search des- perately for replacement housing, many have lamented the difficulties they’re confronting amid Colorado’s historically constricted rental hous- ing market. In a joint, public-private effort, several government agencies and rental housing associations have taken steps to support victims of the fire in their effort to find a temporary home. The Colorado Apartment Associa- Please see Marshall Fire, Page 30 INSIDE The multifamily industry remains on solid ground after a record-breaking 2021 Market updates How affordable communities are focusing on wraparound services to help residents thrive Affordable housing PAGES 32-36 Fresh thinking is required to build a new cam- pus for Denver’s most vulnerable families Project spotlight PAGE 18 February 2022 PAGES 4-6 Christopher Dean Vice president of communications and marketing, Apartment Association of Metro Denver 3 ways to support victims of the Marshall Fire Hart Van Denburg, Colorado Public Radio Hundreds of families were displaced by the Marshall Fire in Boulder County on Dec. 30, 2021. The fire burned more than 6,000 acres in less than 24 hours and over 1,000 struc- tures were destroyed.