May 2019 Newsletter

Lots to report! Check out a packed May newsletter from UNE here.


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April 30, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Celesté Martinez 303-968-6580, celeste@unecolorado.org
Andrea Chiriboga-Flor, (978) 516-8996, andrea@9to5.org

The Door Remains Locked for Colorado Cities and Counties to Fully Address the Housing Crisis

Denver- On Tuesday, April 30, the Colorado State Senate laid over SB19-225 until after the 2019 legislative session. This key legislation would have repealed Colorado’s current statewide prohibition on rent stabilization and other local housing solutions and granted local cities and counties the authority to create those solutions.

Sen. Gonzales stated afterward, “I’m committed to bringing this legislation back next year so our local governments have every tool at their disposal to address the housing crisis.” Primary sponsors, Rep. Gonzales-Gutierrez, Rep. Lontine and Sen. Rodriguez, also echoed their ongoing commitment to moving similar legislation forward in 2020.

United for a New Economy Organizing Director, Celesté Martinez, emphasized after the vote: “This legislation is the top priority of our membership and the Colorado Homes for All coalition. We will continue to organize to pass this key legislation until our communities have every door open to them to address the housing crisis:”

SB19-225 ultimately gained the endorsement of over 60 community organizations, unions, residential communities, faith groups, local businesses and local landlords. Among those backing the bill was local landlord Amanda Gonzalez. During the Senate State Military and Veteran Affairs Committee hearing, Gonzalez testified stating, “Since 2015, I have not increased the rent for my tenants. I do this because when rents are stabilized, I can guarantee that my tenants can pay rent on time, they can remain longer in their homes, and they can truly invest in the communities where they live.”

The legislation also included the support of several local elected officials from Denver, Aurora, Adams County and Summit County. During the SB-225 senate committee hearing, many local elected officials emphasized how extensively the 1981 prohibition is tying their hands from implementing the best affordable housing solutions.

“This is not over. Our fight to repeal the 1981 prohibition is just beginning,” proclaimed Andrea Chiriboga-Flor, 9to5 Co-Director.

For more information regarding the updates on SB19-225 and the ongoing effort to stabilize rent in Colorado watch the Colorado Homes for All Facebook Live response here.

 


Colorado Homes for All is a coalition of individuals and organizations who have come together from every corner of Colorado to build a grassroots housing movement for equity and justice for all people.

9to5 Colorado’s mission is to build a movement to achieve economic justice by engaging directly affected women to improve their working conditions. We are a multi-racial, grassroots non-profit organization that combines advocacy, public education, and leadership development to achieve economic justice.


SB19-225 Media Buzz

Our SB-225 Authorize Local Governments to Stabilize Rents is Getting More Coverage!

So we must be doing something right! Our SB19-225, Authorize Local Governments to Stabilize Rents, press conference and demonstration was stellar with community testimony, statements from policy experts and support from our legislative sponsors. ICYMI coverage below...

 


Denver 7: Lawmakers consider bill to allow 'local' rent control on private residential property

CBS4: [VIDEO] Push On To Overturn 40-Year-Old Colorado Law That Bans Rent Control

Fox31: [VIDEO] Denver leaders might not implement rent control if bill passes

Denverite: Proponents of Colorado rent control measure say it would help low wage earners making tough choices

Univision Noticias Ya: PRESENTAN PROYECTO DE LEY PARA PERMITIR EL “CONTROL DE ALQUILER”

Stay tuned for more!


Rent stabilization rally!

UNE members joined with 9to5 Colorado and Colorado Homes For All coalition members in a rally to support the Local Rent Stabilization/Repeal State Preemption bill!

Couldn't make it? Join us next time - follow us on facebook, twitter and insta for latest news & happenings!

 


March 2019 Newsletter

Looking for our March news, views and events? Click here for the latest!


United for A New Economy - Affordable Housing Is A Human Right - Become a Solidarity Member for less than 35¢ a day!

State Interference in Local Rent Costs in the News - Colorado Public Radio

UNE, in partnership with 9to5 Colorado and Colorado Homes for All, are working with Senator Julie Gonzales on repealing the statewide ban on rent control - so our local communities can create their own solutions!

United for A New Economy - Affordable Housing Is A Human Right - Become a Solidarity Member for less than 35¢ a day!

In 1981, Colorado passed a law that prohibited local governments from having the authority to regulate the cost of rent. Allowing for local governments to be the decision makers around the cost of rent would allow for Colorado for significantly decrease the current disparities for cost of living.
The proposed Local Control of Rents legislation would repeal the current state statute which prohibits Colorado from regulating rent, and grant authority to local governments to determine how regulated according to the local cost of living.

Past efforts at the legislature have proposed modifying the rent control ban to allow affordable housing policies with more teeth. But with the cost of living outpacing wages in Colorado, housing advocates say more is needed to help renters. [...]
“Whatever the policy, a city could tailor its approach to its specific housing market. Denver could craft laws to slow gentrification and Telluride could work to preserve worker housing,” shared Andrea Chiriboga-Flor of 9to5 Colorado.

 

United for A New Economy Colorado - Living in Denver: Can Working People Afford it? - Become a Solidarity Member for less than 35¢ a day - Affordable Housing is a human right

 

CPR’s coverage, Jan 15, 2019: [Sam Brasch]

An analysis by Apartment List, a rental listing site, found that half of tenants in Denver spend more than 30 percent of their paycheck on housing. Rates are similar in Grand Junction and Pueblo. It’s even worse north of the metro. Numbers rise to 60 percent in Boulder and 61 percent in Fort Collins.

One potential way to tackle the high costs has been off the table for more than 30 years in Colorado: rent control.

State law bans cities from regulating the rental market. The restriction has forced Colorado communities to find creative ways to add affordable rental units, all while staying on the right side of the law.

Now, State Sen. Julie Gonzales, part of a new class of Democratic lawmakers at the Capitol, hopes to scrap the ban entirely. While the exact language is still in the works, the plan is to introduce a bill to let cities regulate their rental markets.

“I think that municipalities should have a full set of policy options to decide what makes the most sense for them,” she said.

Most states have similar rent control bans. Gonzales’ bill would bring a national debate over those policies to Colorado. A California ballot measure to end limitations failed last November. In Illinois, parts of Chicago have voted to lift the state ban on rent control, as part of a nonbinding effort to pressure state lawmakers.

Depending on who you ask, doing away with Colorado’s prohibition is either the first step to reining in out-of-control housing costs or economic insanity that could actually make housing even less accessible. The proposal will also likely become the left goalpost in a broader debate about Colorado’s cost of living during the 2019 legislative session.

Read the full story and hear Andrea’s interview with Sam Brasch on CPR here. >>

 



United for a New Economy (UNE) envisions vibrant, strong communities where ALL community members have a voice in the decisions that impact them, access to affordable, dignified housing, thriving neighborhoods, and a voice in building an economy that works for everyone.
Join us in uplifting our neighbors and families in the ongoing effort towards housing justice for all.

Become a Solidarity Member for less than 35¢ a day - click here!

United for A New Economy - become a Solidarity Member for less than 35¢ a day

 


Colorado Legal Services - Renters' Rights legal Clinic Opens in Adams County Press Release on UNE - United for a New Economy Colorado

Adams County Renters' Rights Legal Aid Clinic Opens Doors January 7

PRESS IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact:
Aimee Matheny
303-725-0835
aimee@UNEColorado.org 

Adams County Renters' Rights Legal Aid Clinic Opens Doors January 7

Denver, Co- January 4, 2019

Over the past two years, UNE members in Westminster have identified that one of the greatest needs for renters has been availability of access to free legal representation in cases of eviction and lease violations. UNE members are grateful to see the Adams County clinic officially open to serve local residents, and await with great anticipation the city of Westminster releasing final details on the local clinic that will be housed to at the Irving St Library.

 

The Adams County Legal Aid Clinic is open on Mondays from 8am-5pm.
The Adams County Courthouse Office is available to walk-ins. If an applicant does walk in to the office in the courthouse, the case will be prioritized based upon the return date given to the applicant.

FAQs

What documents do I need to access services?
It is helpful if the tenants have any notices or other communications from their landlord, as well as the summons and complaint, if they are already in court. Otherwise, the only necessary document would be a valid Legal Permanent Resident card, or other proof of immigration status, for non-citizens.

What is the income range for this service?
Colorado Legal Services will be serving Adams County residents whose income is less than 200% of the Federal poverty level.

What if I speak a language other than English or Spanish?
CLS has an account with a telephone interpreter service.

Will there be accommodations if I have a disability?
Any applicants with disabilities will always be accommodated to the best of CLS’s abilities.
For example, if ASL services are needed, and not available from the court or county, we will hire an ASL interpreter service at our expense.

Are appointments needed? Are walk-ins ok?

  • The Adams County Courthouse Office is available to walk-ins. If an applicant does walk in to the office in the courthouse, the case will be prioritized based upon the return date given to the applicant (those tenants with answers due on that day will be assisted first).
  • Services at the Westminster Irving Street Library will be by appointment beginning early 2019.
  • In the future, additional locations may also offer appointment options

Are there any fees?

CLS does not charge for services. The only time CLS will request reimbursement will be towards litigation expenses, but only if the client can afford to reimburse CLS thereafter.

 


Colorado Homes for All - Reclaim, Remain, Rebuild Our Cities

Warranty of Habitability Bill HB 18-1397 Goes to Senate Floor

PRESS IMMEDIATE RELEASE     

Press Contact:
Aimee Matheny
303-725-0835
aimee@UNEColorado.org 

Warranty of Habitability Bill HB 18-1397 Moves to Senate Floor

GRASSROOTS EFFORT TO WIN RENTER’S PROTECTIONS AT THE STATE LEGISLATURE MOVES TO STATE SENTATE Denver, Co- On Thursday, May 3rd 2018, Colorado took a huge step forward in the fight for Warranty of Habitability (HB 18-1397). Colorado renters are suffering because of problems with the current statute. Renters across Colorado are forced to live in unsafe conditions because of delayed repairs, are forced to pay for temporary housing when repairs are not made, face retaliation for voicing their concerns to landlords, and some end up having to pay a significant fee for breaking their lease when conditions become too unbearable. “The Colorado house vote to pass Warranty of Habitability forward today is a major victory for Colorado renters. Landlords should be working with us to ensure that our homes are safe, quality places to live."says UNE member, Gloria. HB 18-1397 would eliminate the presumption of retaliation in favor of the landlord, define a “reasonable” timeframe for repairs, which would be between 24-72 hours from the time of the complaint, provide the right to withhold a portion of their rent, reinforce the right to break a lease if uninhabitable conditions persist, and more. Special thank you to Representative Dominique Jackson for her continued support and leadership, the Colorado Homes For All coalition is looking forward to the next steps in the fight for renters rights across Colorado.

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What Amazon’s New Headquarters Could Mean for Rents

Read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/25/business/economy/amazon-hq-rents.html 

“I definitely think it has the possibility of pushing us over the tipping point,” said Felicia Griffin, executive director of United for a New Economy, a Colorado nonprofit that has opposed the Amazon project.


5 Big Reasons Why People Are Protesting Amazon’s Second Headquarters

Read more at: http://time.com/money/longform/amazon-hq2-resistance-jeff-bezos/

Felicia Griffin, the Colorado-based executive director of United for a New Economy, tells MONEY she’s worried the 50,000 HQ2 positions won’t go to existing Denverites. Instead, she’s afraid Amazon will hire highly skilled workers who relocate. In other words, people will have to deal with the repercussions of the company’s move into their city, but they won’t get any of the benefits.