Statewide Housing Challenge Needs a Statewide Solution
DENVER - Today, Governor Polis, Senate Majority Leader Dominick Moreno, Representative Iman Jodeh, Representative William Lindstedt, Representative Steven Woodrow, Representative Ruby Dickson, environmental leaders, local government officials, housing, business, and labor leaders launched a comprehensive plan to help create more housing now for every Colorado budget. Governor Polis, in partnership with the legislature, is focused on increasing housing options by cutting red tape and allowing and incentivizing efficient housing production that meets the needs of local communities.
“By cutting red tape, legalizing more housing choices, strengthening property owners' rights, and planning for future growth, we can create more housing at a lower cost in Colorado communities near where people work or play,” said Governor Polis. “Thank you to this unprecedented broad coalition of business and labor, environmentalists and housing advocates, local elected officials and community leaders who have come together to support an effective Colorado solution to our housing challenges.”
“Every Coloradan deserves a safe and affordable place to live, and this proposal will allow us to create a smart, holistic approach that will expand the menu of housing options families and communities are able to choose from,” said Senate Majority Leader Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City. “Working Coloradans are tired of being priced out of where they live. This bill will cut red tape and expand our housing supply to make sure more Colorado families have a place to call home.”
“This collaborative proposal will save Coloradans money on housing and make it easier for people across our state to find a place to live that fits their budget,” said Rep. Steven Woodrow, D-Denver. “Our housing shortage is driving up the cost of living, straining our economy and forcing people to leave their communities or commute further to work. We need to allow property owners the right to build different types of housing like ADUs, duplexes and triplexes to increase our housing stock and make housing more affordable while also respecting the character of local communities.”
“From seniors who want to downsize to young adults looking to buy their first home, this plan will help Coloradans across the board find housing that works for them and their budget,” said Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora. “Seniors and essential workers like teachers, firefighters, nurses and child care providers deserve to live in their communities instead of being pushed out. Coloradans are depending on us to work together and pass meaningful and effective legislation that creates more options for property owners to build more and different types of homes that will drive down housing costs in our state.”
“Colorado is growing, but artificial limits on who can live where are straining communities, contributing to long commutes and poor air quality, and costing families money on housing and so much more,” said Rep. William Lindstedt, D- Broomfield. “Making sure Colorado has enough housing is a statewide concern that impacts every community and the economic well-being of everyone in our state. Lifting anti-growth laws will help us build the housing Coloradans need, improve our air quality and environment, and stop the irreparable harm to hardworking people from arbitrary limits that drive up the cost of housing.”
“This bold legislation will reduce the cost of housing and allow Coloradans to build the homes they want and need,” said Rep. Ruby Dickson, D-Centennial. “Policies that arbitrarily limit our housing supply have far-reaching consequences: they burden Colorado families with high housing and transportation costs, while making it harder to attract new businesses. Eliminating baseless limits on housing construction will save families money, create jobs, and make it easier for hardworking people to find a home in the communities they love. Coloradans are looking to us to craft commonsense policies that make our state more affordable, and this proposal will make a big difference in this effort.”
The comprehensive plan establishes a framework for more housing in municipalities while providing flexibility for local leaders to implement the standards to meet their community's needs. The proposal establishes ways for the state and local communities to work together to develop strategies to meet housing goals more broadly and avoid regional imbalances in housing production.
State lawmakers and the Governor were joined today by Teller County Commissioner Dan Williams, Boulder Mayor Brockett, Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue, Elise Jones who leads SWEEP, J.J. Ament CEO of Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Jonathan Cappelli, Executive Director, Neighborhood Development Collaborative, Rob Gould, President of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and Dennis Eulberg, Executive Director for Colorado Professional Fire Fighters. Earlier today, many environmental champions, housing advocates, the business community and labor leaders, local government officials, and community members offered their support for this comprehensive plan.
The proposal also includes opportunities for local communities to implement solutions that are able to address unique circumstances and build on prior local efforts that address housing abundance and affordability. By creating more housing supply, this proposal will lead to increases in home options for every budget so that Coloradans can live in the communities they want without being priced out. The plan also helps us improve air quality, protect open space, conserve our water and plan for future growth while helping prevent displacement.
The plan outlines goals to create more housing now including:
Legalizing the ability to build more affordable housing types like ADUS, duplexes, triplexes, or townhomes.
Incentivizing more multifamily housing in or near transit-oriented and walkable communities to lessen the number of cars on the road, improving air quality, reducing pollution, and saving people money on commutes.
Cutting red tape and reducing building limitations to decrease building time and cost and giving more options and flexibility for homeowners to build on their land.
Assessing statewide housing needs and identifying affordability strategies tailored to local and regional needs. Provide a framework for state, regional, and local agencies to strategically align investments and policies and track progress.
Constructing more homes and creating jobs by eliminating arbitrary laws that prevent property owners from building the housing units local communities need.
Many Coloradans are being forced out of their neighborhoods with no hope of ever living close to where they work, which means more congestion on our roads, more money spent on commuting, more pollution, and greater economic challenges. Aging seniors who want to downsize, young people living on their own, and first-time homebuyers can’t find homes because there isn’t enough inventory and the available homes are too expensive. If we don’t act now, we risk facing the point of no return and becoming like California. This is not a problem that can be solved by one city, town, or local government alone. This is a statewide crisis that needs a state-level solution.