Colorado Housing Crises, Past Housing Concerns to Critical Needs

Governor Jared Polis

Earlier this month Governor Jared Polis and lawmakers unveiled a long-awaited plan to spur residential development and increase the housing stock in the state by encouraging the construction of non-traditional housing types.

It is a major proposal as the state grapples with how to responsibly accommodate explosive population growth — and how much control local governments should cede to the state.

 Polis stated “We’re at a real fork in the road for Colorado. Do we want to go down a route we’ve seen in other states like California, where there are cities with average home prices about $1 million … or do we want to create a better way, a Colorado way, to plan for a future that is livable, affordable and works for all of us?”

Colorado’s housing crisis is putting pressure on everyone —people experiencing homelessness, low and middle-income renters, and aspiring homeowners. Supply is low, costs are prohibitive, rent is increasing at alarming rates, and households are being pushed out of neighborhoods they have called home for generations. While 86% of Coloradans report that housing is an extremely serious or very serious problem across the income spectrum, the data unequivocally show the burden of a tight housing market and skyrocketing rents overwhelmingly falls on lower-income Coloradans and marginalized populations. The Coalition, along with partner organizations, propose solutions designed to rectify the damage caused by ongoing and historical inequities in the housing market, counter the commodification of housing, and work to prevent the growing tragedy of homelessness. These solutions start with targeting limited public resources for housing for those households at the lowest income levels, rather than efforts that rely on increasing supply of housing for higher income households with the hope that it will result in a “trickle-down” effect for those most in need years later.

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