These are all of the Housing bills proposed in the 2018 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.

None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, pros, and cons are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium and Minor. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!).

HB18-1054: Affordable Housing Plastic Shopping Bag Tax

Puts a measure on the 2018 ballot that requires stores to charge $0.25 per plastic shopping bag to the customer (the charge is waived if the customer is part of the federal supplemental nutrition insurance program). The store keeps 1% of the revenue from the tax, the rest goes first to the department of revenue, which keeps what is required to run the tax, and the rest goes to a new fund in the division of housing which must use the funds for the purposes of improving, preserving, or expanding affordable housing.

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

Affordable housing is a crisis in many parts of Colorado, particularly in the Denver metro area. This measure takes a negative process which we want to discourage (using plastic bags, which are terrible for the environment) and takes proceeds from those unwilling to go without it to help secure housing for those most in need. This bill only puts the issue on the ballot, the people get to be the ultimate arbiter.

Cons

Despite the federal food stamp exception, this will hit those the program is designed to help the hardest: the working poor, whose grocery costs would increase. Smaller stores will also be burdened with new fees to collect and remit to the state. There is no need to clog the ballot with this tax increase.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1054

HB18-1107: Prewire Residence for Electric Vehicle Charging Port

Currently builders must offer a solar prewire option to purchasers of newly constructed residences. This bill extends that concept to electric vehicle charging stations.

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

The future is in electric cars and that will require charging stations. Much as with solar panels, this lets consumers pay for the ability to have these stations in their newly built homes. The builders get to charge what they need to for construction, everyone wins.

Cons

This will require every new home to have a secondary build plan that includes this wiring, which unlike solar panels will not be widely sought at this time, as the number of vehicles that use electric charges is still small. This is an increased burden to builders for too small a return.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1107

HB18-1125: Tax Credit Employer-Assisted Housing Pilot Program

Creates a pilot program for employer-assisted housing projects in rural areas. Gives a state income tax credit between 2018 and 2022 for donations made to a sponsor that is solely used for costs of an employer-assisted activity in a rural area.  Amount of credit is 20% and limited to $400 in a year.

Pros

Affordable housing is a crisis in many parts of Colorado, and the ability to find a home near work becomes even more difficult in rural areas. This program tests out the theory that offering this tax incentive will help alleviate this problem in the state’s rural areas.

Cons

While it's nice to have a pilot program, we need big solutions now. This pilot will end in three years, which is a long time to wait.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1125

HB18-1126: Limit Homeowners' Association Regulation of Dogs by Size or Breed

Invalidates any covenants in common interest communities that prohibit the keeping of certain types of dog based solely on breed, size or weight.

KILLED IN HOUSE

Pros

It is unfair to dog lovers who like larger animals or breeds that have been unfairly maligned to prohibit them from owning them. If a common interest community wants to allow dogs, it should not be able to dictate what kind of dog as long as the dog is safe. Imagine living in an area which then passes this kind of restriction and having to choose between your home and your pet.

Cons

This is an infringement on the rights of the common interest community. If they only want little dogs or only want certain breeds, that this is the right of the community to decide. Just as it is the right of anyone to choose not to live in that community.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1126

HB18-1127: Residential Landlord Rental Application

Limits the fee to cover the landlord’s costs for reference checks, consumer credit reports, or tenant screening reports. Also requires the landlord to provide written notice of their selection criteria and grounds for rejection prior to accepting applications or fees, and a notice of any adverse action on their application and the reasons for it.

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

This limits the ability of landlords to abuse the application process. Fees here should not be profit centers, but only cover costs. Also, tenants have the right to know beforehand what the criteria is, so that they will not waste their own money (and the landlord’s time) on futile efforts. Finally, the requirement for notice of adverse action keeps everyone honest: no rejecting applicants for invalid reasons like race or lifestyle and no phantom adjustments to the typical rental agreement for no reason.

Cons

This is a cumbersome process that is not necessary and an infringement on the rights of the landlord. Obviously they are already required to follow all discrimination laws for housing. They should also be allowed to set their own fees and keep their own standards. This bill may create grist for frivolous lawsuits over fees and so called adverse action notices.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1127

HB18-1195: Tax Credit Contributions Organizations Affordable Housing

Creates a state income tax credit for contributions to a nonprofit community-based home ownership developer engaged in an affordable housing building project. Credit is 50% of the amount donated with a maximum of $250,000 in one year per person. State cap on the credit is $20 million, if a taxpayer attempts to use the credit after the cap has been reached, they can apply the credit to subsequent years.

Pros

The state has a housing crisis, in particular affordable housing. It’s becoming more and more difficult for anyone looking to buy or rent, particularly in the Denver metro area. This bill should help stimulate affordable housing projects by providing an impetus to pump more money into their development.

Cons

Affordable housing is defined in this bill as serving those with area median incomes of up to 120%. This is above the usual definition of 80%, which means developers could go right on building housing for people making more money than the median person in the area and take advantage of this credit. Nothing would really be solved and the state would be out up to $20 million a year in revenues that is is not going to replace with something else.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1195

HB18-1342: Allow Pre-Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act Homeowners' Association Members to Veto Homeowners' Association Budget

Removes the exemption for common interest communities created before July 1, 1992, from the requirement that a majority of the unit owners can veto a budget proposed by the executive board.

PASSED HOUSE

Pros

At this point, no common interest board should be able to override the majority interests of the homeowners, no matter when their covenants were written.

Cons

If the majority of residents want this power, they need to rewrite their covenants, not change the rules on the association. There is a reason they were exempted in the first place.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1342

HB18-1397: Landlord Tenant Warranty of Habitability

A warranty is implied in every residential rental agreement by law. This bill alters the warranty by allowing for electronic notice of breach of warranty, expanding injunctive relief to include county and small claims courts, absence of mold is added as a basic requirement for habitability, if the premises do not meet the habitability requirements the tenant is authorized to deduct cost of repair from rent, requirement that tenant’s notify local government before seeking an injunction is repealed.

Pros

Some of these are obvious changes, like allowing electronic notice and that mold is a dangerous situation people should not have to live in. For deducting rent, the idea is that if the landlord is not fixing a dangerous situation, they should not be rewarded by pocketing the money it would cost to fix it.

Cons

This is a double punishment for unsafe living conditions as the tenant can withhold the repair cost and the landlord has to fix it. The landlord is already facing punishment for breaching the warranty by not fixing the problem with the bill’s defined time lines and cannot legally rent it again without fixing the problem.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1397

SB18-006: Recording Fee to Fund Attainable Housing

Allows county clerks and recorders to increase the $1 surcharge for documents to $5. Counties that do this must submit the extra $4 to the state treasurer for deposit into the state’s attainable housing fund, also created by this bill. At least 25% of this fund must be spent on supporting new or existing programs that provide financial assistance on those with income up to 80% of area’s median income for purchasing housing.

*This legislation has been sent to the Senate “Kill” committee, State Affairs*

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

Affordable housing is a crisis in many parts of Colorado, particularly in the Denver metro area. Many people earn too much to qualify for state and federal housing assistance but do not make enough to qualify for conventional private sector assistance like mortgages. This fund is entirely voluntary for the counties and represents an insignificant increase in fees on a case-by-case basis that can add up to enough to make a difference.

Cons

This bill does not provide a stable source of income for its purpose by being voluntary and does not prevent freeloading by counties that do not participate in the program. If say, Adams County increases its fee and Arapahoe County does not, there is nothing in the bill to keep Arapahoe County from benefiting from Adams County residents and businesses. The bill also lacks a bottom bracket to prevent its funds from being used by those who do qualify for state and federal housing assistance. It also provides favoritism for home ownership over other housing solutions by increasing costs for individuals and businesses to file mandatory paperwork.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-006

SB18-007: Affordable Housing Tax Credit

Changes the name of the existing low-income housing tax credit to the affordable housing tax credit and extends the credit from current expiration at end of 2019 to the end of 2024.

PASSED SENATE

Pros

Affordable housing is a crisis in many parts of Colorado, particularly in the Denver metro area. This tax credit helps people find places to live near where they work and changing the name more accurately reflects the purpose, rather than stigmatizing the working poor. In the long run it actually saves money by helping keep people housed and not homeless.

Cons

The government should not be in the business of giving people money for housing. It also provides negative incentives to not work as hard so that you can keep your tax credit, since you need to be below certain income thresholds to qualify. This bill extends this poor policy for another five years. Changing the name is an obfuscation designed to hide the credit’s true intent

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-007

SB18-010: Residential Lease Copy and Rent Receipt

Requires a landlord to provide each tenant with a copy of a written rental agreement and to give the tenant a contemporaneous receipt for any payment made in person by cash or money order. For payments not made in person with cash or a money order, the landlord must provide a receipt if the tenant requests one. Electronic copies of the agreement are acceptable unless the tenant asks for a paper copy.

SIGNED

Pros

Prevents landlord abuse by making sure tenants have copies of their transactions as well as the actual rental agreement.

Cons

Puts more red tape on landlords, who might try to pass on costs of providing all of this paper, to solve a problem that the free market solves itself. If people feel cheated by a landlord, they won’t reup with them and can use the court system to recoup any contested money.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-010

SB18-015: Protecting Homeowners and Deployed Military

Allows law enforcement to remove people from residential premises and order them to remain off the premises if the owner or owner’s authorized agent makes a specific claim on the lack of authority for the people to be on the premises. Owner or owner’s agent is liable for damages, fees, or any other costs from false claims. The crime for the unauthorized person who alters or damages the property is a first degree misdemeanor.

PASSED SENATE AND HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

Anyone who has to be away from their home for a period of time risking having squatters take it over. It actually is currently not easy to get rid of squatters and this bill provides the solution. It contains appropriate safeguards for tenants and homeowners on titles, as well as preventing those with abandoned buildings or buildings open to the public from abusing it.

Cons

While there are multiple safeguards from abuse in the bill, there aren’t enough to prevent abuse in domestic situations where one person is on the lease or owns the home and the other does not. The common arrangement of living together at one person’s domicile. The bill would allow an individual in this situation to kick someone out of their living situation with no notice and no recourse.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-015

SB18-057: Use of Criminal Records with Respect to Housing

Makes several actions unfair housing practices: denying housing based on any arrest or charge that did not result in a conviction, taking action or inquiring about or requiring disclosure of sealed or expunged criminal records, not considering if the nature of the conviction will adversely affect safety. The bill also bans the use of unrelated criminal records in civil actions taken against the landlord and requires the landlord to give written notice to the applicant if they deny them housing based on a criminal record.

*This legislation has been sent to the Senate “Kill” committee, State Affairs*

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

Reintegrating released convicts into our society is critical. They need to get jobs and find a place to live or they are most definitely going to end up right back in jail. This bill preserves the ability to landlords to keep people who might not be safe out of their properties, while respecting the right of the individual to be rehabilitated. Being charged with a crime is not the same as a conviction, anyone who has actually not been convicted must be treated the same as every other non-convict.

Cons

This bill prevents landlords from finding out all of the information they might want to reasonably know about the person they are permitting to live on their property, around other tenants of theirs. It prevents them from exercising their own judgement about safety in their buildings and gives them extra hoops to jump through if they decide their unit would be safer without the applicant.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-057

SB18-120: Time Period for Tenant to Cure Unpaid Rent

Currently a landlord must provide a tenant 3 days to cure an unpaid rent violation before initiating eviction proceedings. This bill adds that a landlord must accept payment of all outstanding amounts due before the date the tenant is required to appear in court. For any subsequent violation within six months, the old system still applies.

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

This gives a tenant who struggles to make one payment the opportunity to do so and stay in their home. It also gives the landlord the ability to get rid of tenants who continue to struggle to pay on time.

Cons

This ties the landlord’s hands if a tenant falls outside the six month window. You could have a tenant who just barely gets the payment in before court, then is good for six months, then misses again.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-120