Colorado governor, lawmakers tout housing bills as legislative accomplishments

But the governor acknowledges Coloradans likely won't feel the impact of some legislation for years
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Posted at 5:25 PM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 07:34:49-04

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis joined Colorado’s legislative leaders on Thursday to look back at this year’s legislative session, which ended Wednesday.

Addressing the rising cost of housing was a top priority for lawmakers, as it was last year. But last year’s legislative session ended with Polis suffering a major defeat when lawmakers killed his housing bill. This year it was a different story.

“When it comes to housing, we made a promise and we're delivering real results,” Polis said.

When will Coloradans feel relief from housing bills passed by the legislature

Lawmakers passed a package of housing bills this year supported by the governor, including one requiring certain communities to set goals to increase affordable housing near transit.

Another bill, which the governor recently signed into law, bans residency occupancy limits.

Lawmakers also passed a bill making it easier for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on their properties.

“Coloradans across our state will have the freedom to build an accessory dwelling unit on their own property. And in doing so, they can create more housing supply that's inherently more affordable and fill critical gaps in communities where infrastructure already exists,” Polis said in a post-legislative session press conference.

He was joined by Democratic legislative leaders, including Senate President Steve Fenberg, House Speaker Julie McCluskie and House Majority Leader Monica Duran. The lawmakers described the legislation they pushed through as “transformational.”

While many Republicans opposed the Democratic housing proposals, some bills had bipartisan support. The ADU bill, for instance, was co-sponsored by State Rep. Ron Weinberg, a Republican.

“City councilors, our commissioners, we're having a big problem right now with housing in the state, affordability and attainability of housing,” Weinberg said. “My district, which is the City of Loveland specifically, was screaming out for any type of solution for that type of problem. And that's what we presented as a solution.”

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But it might not look like a solution for a while.

The governor said it will take time for Coloradans to see and feel the impact of much of the legislation.

“This is not the type of thing where you sign the bill and the next week you have, you know, more buses and more housing,” Polis said. “It takes the development cycle, which means not forever. It means it takes a few years, right? This will make Colorado more affordable rather than less affordable over the next few years.”

Other housing legislation passed this year includes measures that allow seniors to downsize without losing tax exemptions and another eliminating parking requirements in certain areas.

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