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Successful 2014 Legislative Session – More resources for affordable housing development and consumer

Friday, May 16, 2014  
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Successful 2014 Legislative Session – More resources for affordable housing development and consumers dominate the agenda

Housing Colorado had one of the most successful sessions ever this year. Among the bills we supported, over 80% passed this year. More specifically, this session proved to be one of the most significant for affordable housing funding, with two victories among our priority issues:

HB 1017 – PASSED

This bill represents a tremendous effort from a far-reaching coalition of supporters.  HB 1017 reinstated the Colorado Housing Tax Credit Program, and allocated $5 million in funding for 2015 and 2016.  In addition, this bill repurposed an under-used and outdated statutory fund to create a housing trust fund – a flexible tool that can receive new money from a variety of sources to fund affordable housing development.

HB 1336 – PASSED

This is the “Long Bill” with the final state budget approved through the Joint Budget Committee.  This year, Housing Colorado was successful in supporting a $4 million increase in the Affordable Housing Grants Line Item.  This new funding brings the total in that fund to $8.25 million – a 375% increase since 2012. 

Other victories

Several new tax credit programs will provide more resources for affordable housing and the clients we serve.  SB 073 reauthorizes the Brownfield Contaminated Land income tax credit; HB 1074 expanded expenses allowable on tax-exempt property and HB 1311 creates a new income tax credit for preservation and redevelopment of historic buildings and main street areas.

Consumers also had several wins this session.  HB 1130, HB 1295 and HB 1312 all expanded protections for consumers subject to foreclosure and ensuring fair and transparent processes.  HB 1001 created a credit for individuals who lose their home due to natural disasters, while SB 14 increased the amount of reimbursements available to low income households for heat or fuel assistance.

Construction defect reform

Regrettably, we did not see the progress in construction defect reform that we were hoping for this session.  SB 220, sponsored by Sen. Jessie Ulibarri died on the calendar upon adjournment on May 7.  SB 220 represented a tremendous effort from the affordable housing community and the broad-based Homeownership Opportunity Alliance coalition.  Housing Colorado and coalition members remain committed to addressing the legal environment that is stifling the construction of affordable multi-family ownership opportunities in Colorado, and expect a renewed effort on this issue in the 2015 session.

Want to see the full bill report?  The final report of all the legislation tracked by Housing Colorado is available on the Current Legislation webpage. Want to see how your legislator voted on our key issues?  Our bill report contains live links to each bill – from there you can read committee reports and voting records on each bill.

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