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April 13, 2024

SAVING Coloradans Money on Housing! House Advances Transit-Oriented Housing, ADUs

Bills would save Coloradans money on housing by encouraging housing near transit options, increase housing options Coloradans can afford to help meet demand

DENVER, CO - The House today advanced two bills on preliminary votes to save Coloradans money on housing. 

HB24-1313 encourages more housing near public transit, cycling and walking corridors, places of employment, and other centers of community. It would also provide financial support to cities, counties, and municipalities that meet their housing goals. 

HB24-1152 would create more housing options Coloradans can afford by allowing homeowners to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

“Colorado’s housing crisis is making it nearly impossible for Coloradans to buy their first home, which is why we have to prioritize building denser housing near transit and job centers so we can reduce the cost of housing,” said Rep. Steven Woodrow, D-Denver, sponsor of HB24-1313. “Our bill encourages local governments to build transit-oriented housing by offering a menu of options to choose from and incentives to meet their housing goals. By legalizing smart and attainable housing development, we can make it easier for our community members to afford housing.”

“The vast majority of Coloradans support legislation that makes it easier to build housing near jobs and transit hubs and saves people money,” said Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora, sponsor of HB24-1313. “Our bill seeks to make housing more affordable near jobs and transit centers, protect vulnerable communities from displacement, reduce water use and traffic, and build the homes Coloradans want. Coloradans need us to act now so we can address our housing and climate crises.”

HB24-1313 would increase affordable housing options and help prevent Coloradans from being displaced from their communities by encouraging strategic housing development near transit and job centers. The bill empowers local governments to address Colorado’s housing needs and incentivizes them to build more housing by providing financial assistance to help meet their housing goals. It also aims to conserve our natural resources and improve our air quality to protect vulnerable communities from pollution-related health issues. Of the approximately 30 jurisdictions that would qualify under this bill, most are along the I-25 corridor. 

The bill would establish Housing Opportunity Goals in areas close to transit services where qualifying cities and counties could build more housing. Subject jurisdictions would have the flexibility to decide where it makes sense to build more housing to ensure they are meeting the diverse needs of their communities. Jurisdictions could meet the Housing Opportunity Goals a number of different ways including increasing the maximum building height in multi-family and mixed-use zones, or allowing multi-family residences in commercial-only or single-family zones.

Communities that meet their Housing Opportunity Goals would benefit from a new Transit-Oriented Communities Tax Credit and the Transit-Oriented Communities Infrastructure Fund to support their efforts in increasing housing opportunities near public transit, employment centers, safe biking and walking corridors.

A recent poll found that 95 percent of Coloradans say the cost of renting or buying a home is a problem, with 70 percent saying that local governments aren’t doing enough to address this issue. Nearly 70 percent of Colorado voters also support a state law, like HB24-1313, to require cities and counties to allow more housing to be built near public transit and businesses and shopping areas while providing financial assistance for these projects.

HB24-1152, sponsored by Rep. Judy Amabile, D-Boulder and Rep. Ron Weinberg, R-Loveland, would allow homeowners in subject jurisdictions to build an ADU and create a new state grant program to help local governments implement policies to promote and streamline the construction of ADUs.

“Coloradans are relying on us to pass effective legislation to tackle the housing crisis, and this bill gives homeowners the tools to create more housing opportunities,” said Rep. Judy Amabile, D-Boulder, sponsor of HB24-1152. “From housing aging relatives to renting out extra space, ADUs offer alternative housing options that can save Coloradans money on housing and legalize alternative home-care placements. This is an important bipartisan bill that makes it easier for Coloradans to live near their jobs, schools, and loved ones.”

The bill would provide local governments with access to grants to support lower and middle-income Coloradans building an ADU, property owners renting their ADU at an affordable rate and the construction of accessible ADUs. 

Finally, the bill includes funding through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority to directly help homeowners build ADUs, including with down payment assistance, affordable loans, and buying down interest rates on loans for the conversion or construction of ADUs.

Recent polling found that 78 percent of Colorado voters support a law that allows ADUs to be built on single-family home properties. 


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