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May 13, 2024

SIGNED! Legislation to Encourage More Housing Near Transit and Jobs Becomes Law

DENVER, CO - Governor Polis today signed legislation into law that will encourage more housing near public transit, cycling and walking corridors, places of employment, and other centers of community. It also provides financial support to cities, counties, and municipalities that meet their housing goals. 

“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 new law encourages local governments to build transit-oriented housing by providing financial support to help them meet their communities’ housing needs. By legalizing smart and attainable housing development, we can make it easier for our community members to afford housing.”

“The housing challenges plaguing our state are reaching a fever pitch, which is why Democrats are laser focused on providing solutions,” Senator Chris Hansen, D-Denver, sponsor of HB24-1313 said. “One of those solutions is to incentivize smart, strategic growth near jobs and transit. This law will do just that, while also reducing congestion on our roads, cutting air pollution, and increasing affordability, so that more Colorado families can find a place to call home that works for them.”

“The vast majority of Coloradans support legislation that makes it easier to build housing near jobs and transit hubs,” said Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora, sponsor of HB24-1313. “This new law 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.”

“Coloradans are begging for more housing, and there is no better place to build housing and increase density than near transit,” Assistant Senate Majority Leader Faith Winter, D-Broomfield, sponsor of HB24-1313 said. “This new law is important in multiple ways - it will increase housing options, reduce costs, and help our state reach its climate goals, all while protecting vulnerable communities from displacement. I am proud to champion this legislation, and I look forward to the benefits it will bring to our state.”

HB24-1313 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 Colorado’s natural resources and improve air quality to protect vulnerable communities from pollution-related health issues. Of the 31 jurisdictions that would qualify under this bill, most are along the I-25 corridor.

Communities that meet their Housing Opportunity Goals would benefit from the new $35 million Transit-Oriented Communities Infrastructure Fund to support their work to improve infrastructure within transit centers or neighborhood centers.

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.

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