(May 2) – Two bills that are part of the House Democrats’ agenda to protect tenants and make livable housing more affordable for more Coloradans advanced today.

HB18-1432, sponsored by Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, passed the Local Government Committee this afternoon on a 7-6 vote. The bill forbids landlords to disqualify prospective tenants solely because they receive public housing assistance, veterans’ benefits, Social Security benefits, pensions, annuities, state or federal disability benefits, child support, alimony, foster care subsidies, disability or unemployment insurance or other types of income.

A recent survey of Colorado renters by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless found that 47 percent of respondents whose rental applications had been rejected identified source-of-income discrimination as the reason.

“In this tight housing market, many Coloradans struggle to find housing they can afford,” Rep. Herod said. “We should not create artificial barriers by permitting discrimination about the types of income that can be allowed.”

Earlier today, the full House gave voice-vote approval to HB18-1397, Rep. Dominique Jackson’s bill to protect renters from substandard housing. The bill makes a variety of changes to level the playing field for renters and landlords, most notably by allowing tenants to deduct the actual cost of repairs from their rent, bolstering tenants’ protections against retaliation by landlords and adding mold to the list of conditions that can make a dwelling uninhabitable.

“The current statute often heavily favors the landlord and going to court can be difficult and costly for renters,” Rep. Jackson, D-Aurora, told the House this morning. “The bottom line for this bill is to protect the health and safety of tenants.”

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