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!

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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.

 

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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. >>

 



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