April 29, 2022

HOUSE PASSES BILLS TO SAVE COLORADANS MONEY ON HOUSING, CHILD CARE, AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES

DENVER, CO – The House today passed SB22-146, which will save middle-income Coloradans money on housing; HB22-1006, which will save families money on child care; and SB11-148, which will fund the construction of behavioral health facilities for Colorado’s land-based tribes, increasing access and reducing the cost of behavioral health care for Colorado tribes.


“SB22-146 bill will save middle-income Coloradans money on housing by financing the construction of affordable housing,” said Rep. Marc Snyder, D-Manitou Springs, sponsor of SB22-146. “More middle-income housing will help businesses attract employees and fill jobs in communities where workers simply can’t find an affordable place to live or face costly commutes.”

Saving Coloradans Money on Housing: SB22-146, sponsored by Representatives Marc Snyder and Marc Catlin, passed by a vote of 46-16. The bill will expand critical middle-income housing so that more Coloradans and communities have access to affordable housing where it’s needed most. The legislation provides $25 million for the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority’s Middle-Income Access Program, which serves middle income families and individuals with incomes too high to qualify for low income housing tax credits. Typically, the missing middle is made up of renters whose income is between 80 percent and 120 percent of area median income.

To date, the Middle Income Access Program has leveraged $14 million in CHFA-invested funds to support five developments comprising over 600 units. This program has leveraged the original $14 million investment into $140 million for affordable housing. Developments leverage significant private sector investment and have brought much needed housing to communities such as Estes Park, Keystone, Steamboat Springs, Gypsum and Denver.

“We know that child care is exceedingly expensive and scarce in our state — particularly in our rural and mountain communities — and the cost and lack of services hurts working families,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts, D- Avon, sponsor of HB22-1006. “By passing this bipartisan bill into law, we will give significant tax relief to child care centers which will allow them to hire more employees, open up more spots for children, and save families money on child care.”

Saving Coloradans Money on Child Care: HB22-1006, sponsored by Representatives Dylan Roberts and Kevin Van Winkle, passed by a vote of 59-3. The bill will increase child care affordability by incentivizing additional property owners through a property tax exemption to lease space to nonprofit child care centers.

The legislation will boost the number of available rental spaces for non-profit child care centers that often serve children, families, rural communities, and communities furthest from opportunity. Right now, infant child care costs nearly 10% more than the average rent in Colorado. Increasing the amount of affordable, accessible child care providers gives hardworking families more options for quality care while saving Coloradans money on child care.

“Using once-in-a-generation federal funding, we are prioritizing the behavioral health needs of Colorado’s land-based tribes who often experience disproportionately higher rates of mental health distress without access to the proper resources,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, sponsor of SB22-148. “This $5 million investment of federal funds will go directly toward the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe for the purpose of creating or revamping a behavioral health facility to improve mental health outcomes and save Coloradans money on behavioral health care.”

Colorado Land-based Tribe Behavioral Health Services Grant Program: SB22-148, sponsored by Representatives McLachlan and Marc Catlin, passed the House by a vote of 56-6. This bill is part of the legislature’s ongoing commitment to addressing Colorado’s behavioral health crisis using $450 million in federal pandemic relief funds secured in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). To further Colorado Tribes’ ability to provide culturally responsive behavioral health care in specialized facilities, this bill will provide a one-time $5 million grant to Colorado land-based Tribes to support building or renovating a tribal behavioral health facility for inpatient services and transitional housing.