May 10, 2016

Recent articles

Remarks on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization

The following remarks are provided by CCLP's executive director Tiffani Lennon. An attack on access to reproductive health is an attack on access to healthcare. Today’s attack on healthcare affects everyone, but particularly those experiencing poverty, with a...

Bearing bad news on affordable housing, tenants rights

by | May 10, 2016

CCLP has bad news and more bad news to report.

First, the bad news: House Bill 1466, our affordable housing funding bill, survived the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, notorious as “the kill committee,” on a vote of 3-2, but it was quickly killed by the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 4-3 on Monday, May 9. If it had passed, HB 1466 would have dedicated an estimated $30 million in surplus money from the state’s unclaimed property trust fund for rental assistance and financing for construction, acquisition or rehabilitation of rental housing.

This measure garnered bipartisan support in the House and would have provided desperately needed public funds to relieve Colorado’s affordable housing crisis without affecting the state’s budget or taxpayers. We thought it was a creative way to inject funds into the Division of Housing. Colorado’s affordable housing crisis is too big to be solved by the private market through balancing supply and demand. That’s because it is too expensive to build housing that people living under the average median income can afford, unless the cost of developing is subsidized.

Moving forward, we’ll continue to seek solutions to this crisis that’s pushing low-income families out of their neighborhoods, straining family budgets, and causing an increase in homeless families.

Unfortunately, because this year’s budget forecast showed revenues were below the TABOR spending limit, this window of opportunity to draw from the unclaimed property trust fund may not exist next year — unless, ironically, our economy sours and revenues decrease.

Now, the other bad news: Also on May 9 (or “Black Monday”), HB 1461, CCLP’s tenant notification will, was killed by the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, by a vote of 3-2. The bill would have extended the “notice-to quit” period on month-to-month rental arrangements from seven to 28 days — giving tenants a fair chance to transition to other housing.

Due to the scarcity of affordable housing in Colorado, landlords have the upper hand and more are favoring month-to-month rental arrangements to give them flexibility to increase rent or move more affluent tenants into the premises quickly. Colorado has some of the weakest notice provisions in the country, and HB 1461 would have put us among 47 other states that require 28 days of notice or more.

If there’s good news to glean from these disappointing developments, it’s that CCLP has begun educating legislators about the issues that are so critical to the health and well-being of low-income Coloradans. We will continue to work with our partners, policymakers and lawmakers on policy solutions that could ease the painful realities of our affordable-housing crisis in the longer term.

In the meantime, we’d like to express our heartfelt gratitude to those who sponsored and supported these bills through testimony, direct lobbying and other advocacy means.

– Bob Mook

Recent articles

Remarks on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization

The following remarks are provided by CCLP's executive director Tiffani Lennon. An attack on access to reproductive health is an attack on access to healthcare. Today’s attack on healthcare affects everyone, but particularly those experiencing poverty, with a...