Colorado lawmakers are proposing changes to residential zoning to alleviate the worsening housing shortage and rising affordability concerns. The set of bills aims to overhaul Colorado’s zoning codes to encourage building in urban areas and eliminate hurdles that property owners face in adding more units to their properties.
The proposed bill also calls for more regional and statewide housing studies and gives the state Department of Local Affairs the authority to draft minimum standards for housing construction in each city. Colorado’s Governor believes that Colorado is at a real fork in the road when it comes to addressing the state’s housing shortages. He points to states such as California for what the future could hold, saying if lawmakers don’t act soon, Colorado could be home to “cities with average home prices above one million dollars and 16-lane highways that have eight hour rush hours.”
Some american cities and states have already moved to loosen or ban single family zoning, in response to issues including housing shortages and homelessness. The proposed Colorado bill would create a statewide minimum zoning code providing incentives to encourage dense multifamily developments, ease record-high spikes in rents and housing prices, and curb urban sprawl.
Denver’s rents have climbed to an average of nearly two thousand dollars a month, significantly higher than the roughly fifteen hundred dollars monthly average reported before the pandemic in late 2019. The state’s housing stock is tens of thousands of units behind what’s needed to meet demand, according to a recent study. The Common Sense Institute estimates that as many as 72,600 new permits are necessary each year through two thousand twenty five to fill the deficit and keep up with state population growth.
We’re going to keep growing. The question is, how do we grow? said Denver-based Rep. Steven Woodrow, one of the bill’s sponsors. Governor Polis believes that the proposed bill could take up to two years to become law, but it is a necessary step to ensure that Colorado does not go down the same path as California. He believes that the state needs a smart plan for more housing, for rent and for purchase, close to where jobs are and along transit lines with opportunities for people to get where they want to go. Thats our news for today! Remember, your success is our success, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.