76% of extremely low income families spend more than half their income on housing
(Apr. 1) – The House Finance committee approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora, that would put more money into the Housing Development Grant Fund within the Department of Local Affairs. This can then be used to improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable housing in Colorado.
“Supporting a family, maintaining a job, living a healthy life, the whole foundation starts with housing,” said Rep. Weissman. “This bill is a calibrated approach that would benefit all of Coloradans – especially our most vulnerable families and individuals. This is the first significant and meaningful approach to our under-addressed affordable housing crisis in a while.”
Under current law, a business can keep 3 ⅓ 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 one thousand dollar monthly cap. This minor statutory change will result in roughly $23 million in revenue. A third of these funds would be used to provide affordable housing to extremely low income families in the first year and would invest $45-50 million per year afterwards.
Across Colorado, there is a shortage of 114,071 rental units affordable and available to extremely low income families. The hourly wage needed to afford housing in Colorado without being cost-burdened is $23.93 per hour, which is more than double the state’s minimum wage.
HB19-1245 was approved on a vote of 7-4. It now heads to the House Appropriations committee.