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May 8, 2024

Bipartisan Legislation to Identify State and Local Housing Needs, Plan for Growth Passes House

DENVER, CO – The House today passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Representative Shannon Bird that would identify state housing needs and strategically plan for future growth in Colorado. SB24-174 passed by a vote of 58-6.

“My community of Westminster has done a lot of work to address the housing crisis by utilizing density planning and transit-oriented development, and this bill helps other communities throughout the state follow our footsteps,” said Rep. Shannon Bird, D-Westminster. “This bipartisan legislation leverages the state’s resources to work in partnership with local governments to help them build in a smart, strategic way. Providing strategic growth planning resources will benefit all of our residents and create housing options as our population continues to grow.”

SB24-174, also sponsored by Minority Leader Rose Pugliese, would require the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to conduct a statewide housing needs assessment and provide grants and technical assistance to local governments to conduct their own local or regional housing needs assessments, followed by housing action plans to address the identified needs.

Under the bill, most local governments with a population of at least 1,000 residents would be required  to either conduct and publish a local housing needs assessment by December 31, 2026 or participate in a regional housing needs assessment. By November 30, 2027, DOLA would be required to conduct an analysis and publish a report analyzing existing and future statewide housing needs. The bill would require new housing assessments to be published every six years.

SB24-174 would also require most local governments with a population of at least 1,000 to create a housing action plan that details their commitment to address their specific housing needs by January 1, 2028, and to update the plan every six years thereafter. Additionally, the bill would: 

  • Require local governments who submit a Housing Action Plan to DOLA to submit a progress report to DOLA three years after publication,

  • Require DOLA to publish a statewide strategic growth report which will analyze land use scenarios and their impacts, including housing, infrastructure, and environmental effects; and assess state policies on development and sprawl,

  • Require county and municipal master plans to include new water supply and strategic growth elements which compare the long-term costs of infill and greenfield development, and

  • Prioritize state agency grant funding for housing or land use programs for local governments who have complied with the requirements in this bill.

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