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May 20, 2023

SIGNED! Bill to Accelerate Affordable Workforce Housing Projects

Senate Bill 1 supports innovative, affordable housing projects through public-private partnerships

DOWDS JUNCTION, CO – Today Governor Jared Polis signed a bill to encourage innovative, affordable workforce housing projects through public-private partnerships.

SB23-001, sponsored by Senators Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, and Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada, and Representatives Shannon Bird, D-Westminster, and Meghan Lukens, D-Steamboat Springs, provides $13 million in funding to help develop affordable workforce housing on state-owned land so that Colorado workers like teachers, nurses, and everyone in between can find housing that fits their budget.

“Across Colorado, local communities are exploring innovative projects to ensure everyone can have access to an affordable place to call home near where they work,” Roberts said. “This bill will help catalyze many projects across the state by eliminating one of the biggest barriers to affordable housing development: the cost of land. By allowing public-private partnerships access to underused state land, we can expect hundreds of new affordable housing units across the state in the coming years, including 80 units in my home of Eagle County. I am thrilled this bill is being signed after moving forward with bipartisan support.”

“We need to utilize every tool we have to address Colorado’s housing crisis, and by allowing public-private partnerships with this new law, we can increase housing opportunities while also creating more well-paying construction jobs,” said Bird. “This new law will make it easier for Coloradans of any budget or zip code to find an affordable place to call home.”

“The housing crisis is a top concern for the people of Colorado and the legislature alike,” said Zenzinger. “Constructing workforce housing was a key part of this year’s comprehensive work to address housing availability and affordability. Teachers, nurses, and everyone who helps keep our state running deserve to have an affordable place they can call home. Senate Bill 1 will be incredibly helpful in our efforts to ensure Coloradans can afford to live where they work.”

“Rural towns like mine are struggling to keep up with housing demands, which is displacing essential workers that are necessary to maintain the health of our communities,” said Lukens. “Land is a significant cost when it comes to building housing, so we’re allowing for public-private partnerships using state-owned land to make it easier to build housing that Coloradans can afford, helping us retain our workforce and boosting local economies.”

SB23-001 builds on work from previous sessions, HB21-1274 and SB22-130, regarding the inventory of underutilized properties and state-owned land. Of the total funding, $2 million will go towards the Dowd Junction project to facilitate development of 80 two-bedroom units, and $11 million will fund similar projects across the state.

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