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May 30, 2024

New Law Will Preserve Housing Coloradans Can Afford

HB24-1175 gives local governments the right of first refusal to buy existing affordable housing when a building or complex is up for sale

BROOMFIELD, CO - Governor Jared Polis today signed legislation into law to give local governments the right of first refusal to purchase existing subsidized housing and preserve Colorado’s limited affordable housing stock.

“With rising rents pricing Coloradans out of their communities, local governments need additional tools to help them preserve existing affordable housing options that work for everyday Coloradans,” said Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, D-Fort Collins. “Our new law will allow local governments to purchase and preserve affordable housing properties that were made possible by the investment of public dollars. With this legislation, we can maintain and expand affordable housing options in our communities and ease Colorado’s housing crisis.”

“Whether it’s Broomfield or Berthoud, housing is a top concern for Coloradans,” said Senate Assistant Majority Leader Faith Winter, D-Broomfield. “This year, we’re tackling Colorado’s housing crisis from all angles. By giving local governments an additional tool to preserve affordable housing stock, Coloradans will be better positioned to find housing options that fit their budget.”

“Our law is one of many steps that Colorado Democrats are taking to combat housing instability and displacement,” said Rep. Emily Sirota, D-Denver. “We need a multi-faceted approach to address our affordable housing shortage, which is why we passed legislation to create new tools for local governments that keep existing affordable housing properties in the rental market.”

“Colorado is in the midst of a housing crisis and we must do everything we can to help renters and homeowners,” said Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis, D-Longmont. “By giving local governments the chance to make the first offer and create new affordable housing stock, we can ensure more Coloradans – especially lower income families – have an affordable place they can call home.”

Many affordable housing buildings are sold and converted to higher priced market-rate units once the affordability restrictions expire. The right of first refusal gives local governments the right to purchase an existing affordable multi-family residential or mixed-use rental property with at least five units if they match any offers that the seller receives and continue to use the property for long-term affordable housing. Under HB24-1175, owners would be required to notify local governments two years before affordability restrictions expire to allow time for governments to plan in case that property hits the market.  

For non-subsidized multifamily properties, the law gives local governments the right of first offer before the property is listed for sale. This applies to buildings more than 30 years old with 15 to 100 units. If interested, the local government must respond within seven days and may request additional information, with the seller having five days to comply and the local government another 14 days to make an offer. Accepted offers would lead to a 30-day negotiation period and a 60-day closing period. 

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