(Apr. 22) — The House approved three bills today that would increase access to affordable housing across the state.

HB19-1309 creates a low cost and effective Mobile Home Park Act Dispute Resolution and Enforcement Program within the Department of Local Affairs Housing Division. It also provides counties the same permissive authority that home-rule municipalities have to enact and enforce regulations.

“Colorado mobile home owners have been raising serious concerns for years about mistreatment from park owners. There are more than 900 mobile parks in Colorado and the lack of enforcement of existing laws is troubling,” said Rep. Hooton, D-Boulder. “This bill will protect Coloradans who are being exploited by relatively loose regulatory structures.”

In addition, HB19-1309 extends the time a homeowner has to sell or move from their home after an eviction from 48 hours to 30 days, and extends the time to cure a late payment from five days to ten days. The bill would help provide protections for mobile home park residents.

“In rural communities, affordable housing is at a premium and mobile home parks are an essential part of the solution to our housing crisis,” said Rep. McCluskie, D-Dillon. “However, there are many concerns about how residents are being treated in parks. This bill will create a process for effectively resolving conflicts so mobile home parks can remain a strong housing option for Coloradans.”

The bill passed on a final vote of 41-23.

The House also passed HB19-1245, sponsored by Rep. Mike Weissman. This bill would contribute more funding to the Housing Development Grant Fund within the Department of Local Affairs. The funding could then be used to improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable housing in Colorado.

“This bill is a significant and meaningful approach to address the state’s affordable housing crisis,” said Rep. Weissman, D-Aurora. “Housing can strengthen a person’s ability to support a family, maintain a job and live a healthy life. This bill is a calibrated approach that would benefit all of Coloradans – especially our most vulnerable families and individuals.”

Under current law, a business can keep 3.3 percent of sales tax that it collects for administration purposes. With this new bill, vendors can retain up to four percent of the vendor fees up to a $1,000 monthly cap. This minor statutory change will result in roughly $23 million in revenue in the first year and would invest $45-50 million per year afterwards. A third of these funds would be used to provide affordable housing to low income families.

HB19-1245 passed by a final vote of 36-28. It now heads to the Senate.

Finally, the House approved a bipartisan bill, HB19-1319 sponsored by Rep. Shannon Bird, D-Westminster, that would creates incentives to assist land developers in providing affordable housing statewide, and also identify undeveloped land owned by the state that could be developed for affordable housing purposes.

“Too many hardworking Coloradans are not able to afford a place to live,” said Rep. Bird, D-Westminster. “This is a problem in urban, suburban and rural communities. So many people and communities are counting on us to address this challenge and to make meaningful change. This bill will help our state make use of un-utilized property and remove obsolete regulatory hurdles that stand in the way of funding affordable housing.”

HB19-1319 passed with a bipartisan vote of 63-1. It now heads to the Senate.

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