Controversial housing bill advances to the Colorado Senate

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Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 13:17:39-04

DENVER — The Democratically-controlled Colorado House of Representatives preliminary approved a bill dealing with housing near transit centers on Sunday.

House Bill 1313 passed in the House on a 37-24 vote. It's now heading to the state Senate, where some lawmakers hope a compromise can be reached.

HB 1313 would allow the state to enforce housing density plans around public transit, which supporters say would encourage more housing development and lower costs.

One of the sponsors of the bill, Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora, said in a statement that HB 1313 would also reduce traffic and water use.

“Our bill seeks to make housing more affordable near jobs and transit centers, protect vulnerable communities from displacement, reduce water use and traffic, and build the homes Coloradans want. Coloradans need us to act now so we can address our housing and climate crises,” Jodeh said in a press release.

But not everyone is on board, especially those home rule municipalities the bill is targeting. They argue the bill in its current form strips them of their right to self-govern.

The Colorado Municipal League, which represents about 270 cities and towns, opposes the bill.

"When a carrot is big enough to be used as a stick, then it's not really an incentive,” said Kevin Bommer, the executive director of the Colorado Municipal League.

Bommer said local officials are already doing work to increase housing density in their communities.

Still, he's hopeful both sides can find some common ground as the bill makes its way through the state Senate.

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