Colorado affordable housing bill faces opposition |

Colorado affordable housing bill faces opposition

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER – A bill that aims to protect affordable housing plans is running into opposition at the state Capitol.

House Bill 1017 clarifies that deals between governments and developers to set aside land for affordable housing are legal and calls for such deals to remain in place even if the property is sold.

Backers say the bill is needed because of a 2000 Colorado Supreme Court decision. The court found that a Telluride ordinance requiring that developers build affordable housing violated Colorado’s ban on rent control.

Supporters, including cities and counties, worry that speculators could use that to unravel existing voluntary agreements to create affordable housing.

“You can have speculators coming in and snatching up properties where you have an agreement in place and going to court to get them thrown out,” said Kevin Bommer, a lobbyist for the Colorado Municipal League.

Developers and landlords, though, are worried that cities and counties could force developers to include affordable units in order to win permission for their projects.

The bill has cleared the House and a Senate committee. Debate in the full Senate has been delayed to try to allay concerns of opponents. Sen. Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood, said she’s working on changes to clarify that it would only apply to voluntary agreements to create affordable housing.

The Senate could take up the measure this week.

It was recommended by a task force that studied ways to reduce poverty in the state.

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