Boulder Chamber stakes out positions on 5 housing bills

BOULDER — The Boulder Chamber has taken positions on five pieces of Colorado legislation that, if passed, will have impacts on workforce housing in Boulder.

“With the introduction of Senate Bill 213 and recognizing that this legislation will be the subject of significant debate and likely amendments, the Boulder Chamber is standing with Gov. Polis in support of the principles of this comprehensive housing support legislation,” John Tayer, president and CEO of the Boulder Chamber, said in a written statement. “From increasing access to accessory dwelling units and ending discrimination against unrelated people living together, to encouragement for environmentally responsible transit-oriented development, Senate Bill 213 represents a foundational opportunity to flip the script when it comes to solving our workforce housing crisis.”

The Boulder Chamber of Commerce also reached decisions on four other housing bills.

“A stable workforce needs an affordable and available stock of housing” said Jonathan Singer, Boulder Chamber senior director of policy programs. “We believe that the rent control (House Bill 23-1115) and new eviction mandates on landlords (HB 23-1171) will create the unintended consequence of disincentivizing housing construction and leasing, leaving more people without housing options.” 

The chamber said that Boulder “already has a perilous lack of rental supply, and the Boulder Chamber believes this pair of bills would likely lead to further declines in supply. The Boulder Chamber also observed that cities with rent stabilization have not achieved a marked increase in affordable housing.”

Singer said the chamber is willing to reconsider the eviction legislation (HB 23-1171) if there is greater clarity in legal definitions regarding eviction standards and if mandated multi-month tenant relocation costs aren’t foisted on landlords of all sizes. “Landlords, especially those renting a single apartment, already face a bevy of city and state regulations that can prove confusing and discouraging,” Singer said.

The Boulder Chamber Board also voted to support legislation providing portable background checks for renters (HB 23-1099) and allowing for remote participation in eviction hearings (HB 23-1182). 

“Anything that will reduce inefficiencies for businesses and save costs for rent burdened tenants is a common sense step to addressing our affordable housing crisis,” Singer said. The Boulder Chamber said that remote participation in the court system helped clear the COVID-induced backlog in many forms of court proceedings. 

The chamber also liked the opportunity that HB-1099 provides to generate a simple form for renters that serves as a single background check instrument for 30 days, saving renters the cost of having to pay for a new background check with every prospective landlord.

Source: BizWest

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