CLLC Advocacy and Lobbying Update
With the on-set of the COVID 19 pandemic, last session saw an unprecedented session for Colorado’s housing providers. Not only were our members faced with both Federal and State eviction moratoriums, but there were also efficiency issues with the distribution of Federal rental relief funds and major pieces of legislation taking all of our collective efforts to challenge and win more favorable amendments, successfully fighting off efforts to legislatively impose additional eviction moratoriums into 2022.
With the passage of the Congressional American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion dollar economic stimulus and COVID recovery law, efforts this summer have been focused around Colorado’s Affordable Housing Transformation Task Force. The Task Force has been meeting throughout the summer and is still on-going with their meetings and our lobbyist has been closely following what have typically been weekly meetings of the task force and sub-groups. In addition to the members of the legislature serving on the Task Force, there are also private sector members from housing providers (such as Realtors, Apartments, and Mobile Homes) as well as CHFA and the Department of Local Affairs.
The Task Force has been meeting to allocate a portion of the $9.7 billion Colorado State and Local governments received under the Rescue Plan (ARPA), where $3.8 billion is allocated by the Colorado legislature and $98,500,000 to the Affordable Housing Transformation Task Force. The Task Force will issue a final report by January 11, 2022 for how these dollars are to be allocated and the legislature will consider these as part of a separate bill.
CLLC representatives also met with legislators from the Task Force and the Department of Local Affairs to ensure ERAP funds were being allocated efficiently. Through these efforts, the CLLC has established a direct dialog with the Department, and the Administrator of this program bringing our member concerns to their attention.
While the Task Force does not have the ability to refer specific bills to the legislature, individual members may run their own bills related to affordable housing this upcoming session, and the task force has become the main focus for the various advocacy organizations who typically move for more legal protections for tenants, changes to eviction procedures, moratoriums, and similar bills. Our lobbyist has been meeting with the various housing organizations, advocates, and legislative bill sponsors and while we are told there are currently no proposals on the table from the main tenant rights & housing justice advocates, this may certainly change as the legislature convenes on January 12, 2022 as any legislator may introduce 5 pieces of legislation per session, and others are able to receive special permission to introduce more beyond that 5 bill limitation.
While these are not directly issues for the CLLC, we are hearing potential legislation around the regulation of metropolitan districts, short-term rentals, and mobile homes and will be watching these for broader impacts. There have also been proponents encouraging bonds in-lieu of rental deposits, but we have yet to find much legislative interest in that topic for the upcoming session.
We will continue to be vigilant in our engagement this session for our members continuing to meet with legislators and coalition partners so we may be at the table to respond and call our members to action around any bills introduced affecting Colorado’s landlord/tenant laws.
Thank you again for your involvement and support!
Colorado Landlord Legislative Coalition Board of Directors