VAIL, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed legislation into law that will direct $178 million in pandemic relief funds to make housing more affordable, increase the housing supply and save Coloradans money on housing.
HB22-1304, sponsored by Representatives Dylan Roberts and Mary Bradfield and Senators Julie Gonzales and James Coleman, was developed based on recommendations from the state’s Affordable Housing Transformational Task Force. The law is part of a package of legislation that will direct $428 million to make housing more affordable and save Coloradans money on housing.
“This bill is an historic achievement for Colorado: a nearly $180 million investment to help build, sustain, and create affordable housing in all parts of our state,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, chair of the Affordable Housing Task Force. “We know Coloradans are facing significant needs in affordable housing but also know that there are communities, nonprofits, and others who are ready to do the work of developing housing now. This new grant program will jumpstart those construction projects, support local efforts, and give communities tools and resources to make housing more affordable for Coloradans. I am thankful Governor Polis signed this bipartisan bill today – the flagship bill of our Task Force work – and now we can help kickstart housing projects across the state!”
“Our state is growing, and we must make sure communities have the resources they need to keep pace,” said Senator Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, Vice Chair of the Affordable Housing Task Force. “This bill will help local governments and nonprofits access the space and funding that communities need to equitably accommodate that growth. By helping communities increase their housing supply we can make sure every Coloradan has access to a home they can afford.”
“As Colorado’s population continues to grow, we have to make sure communities have the land and resources required to develop affordable housing now and in the future,” said Senator James Coleman, D-Denver. “Nonprofits and folks on the ground are the experts when it comes to pinpointing their communities’ unique needs. That’s why this bill is targeted at uplifting their work and providing the necessary tools to achieve their housing development goals.”
The law invests a historic sum to provide direct, flexible, and timely grant funding to nonprofits and local governments all across the state that have or are pursuing measures to facilitate affordable housing development, including purchasing land. This includes development of supportive, rental, and for-sale housing targeted at populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The law also sets aside a substantial investment for local communities to create strategic and sustainable development patterns, including funding for infrastructure projects and updating land and use codes.
The law will ensure flexibility of funding and will increase the supply of housing in urban, rural, and rural resort communities across the state, proportionate to each community’s demonstrated need. Furthermore, the grant program will prioritize funding for mixed-income and income-restricted developments, projects that leverage capital from other sources, and developments that create opportunities for Colorado families to build intergenerational wealth. Funding will also be prioritized for transit-oriented developments, saving emissions and money by building homes closer to where people work and reducing transportation costs.