Lawmakers Highlight Benefits of Expanding Access to Affordable Housing

(Jan. 22) – A bill to expand the availability of affordable housing, especially in flood-impacted areas, by Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D-Commerce City) passed the House Local Government committee today on a 7-4 vote.

“Ultimately this is about making sure lower-income families across Colorado have an affordable place to live,” Rep. Duran said. “This bill will increase access to capital for developers, who will get more of these projects started.”

HB14-1017 will provide funding for the construction of up to 800 units of low-income housing this year. Additionally, the bill allows up to 20 percent of the Housing Development Grant Fund to be used for non-construction activities such as temporary housing, foreclosure prevention and homeownership assistance. It will also eliminate a requirement for borrowers to get a replacement loan within 180 days, which will allow greater flexibility to fund the most-needed projects across the state.

Before the committee hearing Rep. Duran and Sen. Ulibarri held a press conference to highlight the bill’s benefits. Also present at the press conference was Sam Betters, the executive director of the Loveland Housing Authority, who spoke about the need for affordable housing in Loveland, especially after the September floods. Troy Gladwell, a private developer, also spoke about the need for secure funding in order to get more affordable housing developments built.

“Colorado families find themselves more and more stretched when looking for an affordable place to raise their kids,” said Sen Ulibarri. “This effort is designed to ensure that Colorado families can access reasonably priced housing in the communities in which they live.  Our state is experiencing an all-time low in rental vacancies and an all-time high in rental prices; now is the time to act.”

HB14-1017 will now move to the House Finance committee.

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