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|How to Get Involved|
How to Get Involved with Housing Policy
Staying current on all the potential issues that impact affordable housing can be a daunting challenge. Fortunately Housing Colorado has many resources and volunteer opportunities to stay informed, stay engaged and have an impact on issues that are essential to your daily work.
As a chartered committee authorized by the Housing Colorado Board of Directors, the Legislative Committee consists of industry professionals that are appointed by the board to monitor all legislation that impacts the development and preservation of affordable housing in Colorado. The Legislative Committee includes municipal and county housing authorities, finance experts, service providers, developers and other professionals that lend their knowledge and experience to translate often complicated legislative proposals into real-world impacts that inform Housing Colorado’s position on specific bills. Legislative Committee appointments are made each November, if you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact Elena Wilken.
Know the Process.
The Colorado General Assembly has terrific resources online that help demystify the policy process, including deadline schedules, guides to public hearings, and much more.
Housing Colorado holds an annual advocacy training webinar each January which helps inform members on effective steps to take in contacting legislators and mobilizing support behind issues. Please see our events page for more information.
Know the Issues.
Housing Colorado offers a robust training program throughout the year, including our annual NOW! Conference each October and informational forums and webinars. These events focus on the most relevant and timely topics and range from nuts-and-bolts technical training to broad-based policy debates. Click here to see our current training calendar. Housing Colorado also offers an annual Legislative Luncheon which includes an issues briefing prior, giving a deep dive on all currently proposed statewide legislation affecting housing. This is a great way to know the proposals during the legislative session.
Housing Colorado also operates a separate public education campaign, Live Affordably Colorado. This website releases resources, public service announcements and reports that help establish the ongoing need for affordable housing and the potential solutions. This is especially a great resource for citizens interested in affordable housing but not directly working inside the industry.
Finally, Housing Colorado also runs an email listserv for important Legislative Alerts. If you would like to join this email list, please email Emily Nilsen who will add you to the list. This is a members-only opportunity, so you must be a part of an organization that pays Housing Colorado membership.
Know Your Elected Officials.
The single best way to influence key decision-makers is by establishing a professional relationship that is based on expertise and respect. When the General Assembly is out of session, reach out to your state representatives and invite them to visit one of your properties or programs. Show them your success, but also take the opportunity to share your challenges. If possible, have a resident join you and share their own personal story and how access to affordable housing has impacted their lives. This simple gesture will leave an impression with your representative that your organization is a credible voice in the affordable housing industry and a resource when issues concerning affordable housing come before the legislature. Do you have a case study of a successful tour of one of your properties that you’d be willing to share? If so, please contact Emily Nilsen.