House passes innovative proposal to convert underutilized motels and hotels into affordable housing units
DENVER– The House today passed Representatives Gonzales Gutierrez and Woodrow’s bill to invest $30 million of federal funds into a grant program that will allow local governments to convert underutilized properties into shelters or affordable housing units. The bill passed by a vote of 42-22.
“Colorado’s housing crisis demands action, and today we empowered local governments to take immediate steps to help keep people housed,” said Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver, sponsor of SB21-242 and SB21-027. “Revitalizing hotels and motels to meet housing needs is an innovative and commonsense way to tackle one of Colorado’s most persistent issues.”
“Working to help families keep a roof over their heads isn’t just a moral imperative, it’s a matter of investing in Colorado’s economy and improving public health,” said Rep. Steven Woodrow, D-Denver, sponsor of SB21-242. “By converting underutilized hotels and motels, we’re leveraging existing assets to provide shelter and housing to some of Colorado’s most vulnerable residents.”
SB21-242 provides $30 million in federal funding for grants and loans for local governments and nonprofits to purchase underutilized hotels, underutilized motels and other underutilized properties for the purpose of providing shelter or affordable housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. Grant recipients, local governments and nonprofits are encouraged to invest in hotels and motels that are women and minority-owned, as well as those that are ADA compliant. The legislation also provides direct assistance to workers who were unable to receive prior federal and state relief.