Defect in State Law Bars Attainable Housing

Nearly 2.5 Million Coloradans live in communities that are addressing high rents and housing squeeze with local ordinances

Colorado’s economy and our futures depend on a strong housing market that includes diverse and attainable options.  Despite strong demand, communities across Colorado face a growing shortage of one of the most critical options—owner-occupied, multi-family housing.  Condo construction has effectively ground to a halt due in part to concerns among builders about the growing number of lawsuits over construction issues.

Today, condos represent just 3.4 percent of new housing starts in the Denver metro area, compared to 20 percent in 2007. Because of this, would-be first-time homebuyers, including young professionals, have significantly fewer options and are increasingly being forced into the skyrocketing rental market. The lack of condo options also leaves behind seniors who are looking to downsize from single-family homes.

Colorado Communities Take on Challenge

A growing list of Colorado communities are addressing their attainable housing issues by passing local ordinances to promote condo development. Now nearly 2.5 million Coloradans live in communities that have begun the process to fix the defect in state law. The list includes:

  • Aurora
  • Arvada
  • Castle Rock
  • Centennial
  • Colorado Springs
  • Commerce City
  • Denver
  • Douglas County
  • Lakewood
  • Littleton
  • Lone Tree
  • Parker
  • Wheat Ridge
These communities have approved common-sense reforms to reduce the threat of expensive, time-consuming litigation; increase the supply of attainable housing; and protect the rights of homeowners in their communities.

Colorado in a “Housing Squeeze”

A Denver Post front-page article focused on the “Housing Squeeze” and raised concerns over how “rising costs could move from a personal crisis to an economic drag” for families—and the state’s economy. Another Post story noted that renters “need to make $35 per hour, or almost 4½ times Colorado’s minimum wage” to afford the median metro Denver rental rate.

It’s not just a problem in metro Denver. Communities across our state are grappling with this issue:

Legislature Still Needs to Address this Problem

During the 2015 legislative session, the General Assembly failed to enact reform legislation, despite widespread bipartisan support. The Homeownership Opportunity Alliance will continue working with the General Assembly to enact legislation that will: