Capitol Connection – April 5, 2022
Legislative Advocacy this Week at the State Capitol
Affordable Housing Bills at the Capitol CAR Speaks Up For Homeownership Options
It’s been a very busy couple of weeks at the Capitol for housing legislation.
There are several affordable housing bills at the Capitol, many stemming from the summer’s transformative affordable housing taskforce work and some stemming from individual legislators themselves.
House Bill 1242 – Regulate Tiny Homes Manufacture Sale & Install: The bill will expand the authority of the State Board of Housing board in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to create rules establishing standards for tiny homes that cover the manufacture, assembly, and installation of tiny homes; and put forward uniform foundation construction standards for factory-built structures or tiny homes in areas of the state where no standards exist. These rules must be issued by July 1, 2023.
With a statewide tiny home legal structure in place, the legislative policy committee (LPC) is happy to see this smaller and innovative housing product have a place in the housing continuum and we hope to see more local governments look to this solution to create gentle density and increase the supply of affordable housing throughout our state.
House Bill 1287 – Protections for Mobile Home Park Residents: The bill makes comprehensive changes to the Mobile Home Park Act and dispute resolution program and adds many provisions governing the relationship between the property owner and residents related to opportunities to purchase, the structure around those purchases or land use changes, and notice requirements. Additionally, the bill adds attorney general power to enforce the mobile home park act and the dispute resolution program, as well as private right of action rights for residents.
Although the bulk of this bill does some good work to increase opportunities for residents to have the opportunity to purchase their affordable housing with notice and lengthened timeframes to make decisions, the bill is bad public policy because of one small, but highly problematic section in the bill that establishes a rent control cap of 3%. CAR is strongly opposed to the rent control section of the bill that sets precedent for the state of Colorado to be involved in setting rental rates. Rent control is a completely flawed public policy approach that has only been instituted statewide in 4-6 states out of 50 because these types of policies only benefit a few at the expense of many have-nots.
House Bill 1282 The Innovative Housing Incentive Program: This bill creates a $40 million program in the Office of Economic Development to provide grants or loans to new or existing businesses that expand operations with fewer than 500 employees that develop manufactured homes, which may include prefabricated, panelized construction such as insulated panels or insulating concrete forms, 3D printed housing, kit homes or tiny homes installed on foundations or shipping containers. Funding may be awarded through grants for capital operating expenses and for incentives for units manufactured based on criteria established by the office, such as affordability, location where the unit is installed in the state, or meeting energy efficiency standards.
CAR is happy to support dynamic legislation that, with critical amendments, now includes a focus on geographic areas with lack of housing inventory, especially workforce housing, and includes affordable homeownership options.
House Bill 1304 State Grants Investments Local Affordable Housing – This bill creates two dynamic housing grant programs that total to $150 million dollar investment in affordable housing. The affordable housing grant program administered by the division of housing will provide grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to enable such entities to make investments in their communities or regions of the state in transformational affordable housing and housing related matters. The strong communities grant program administered by the division of local government provides grants to eligible local governments to enable local governments to invest in infill infrastructure projects that support affordable housing.
CAR is happy to support this strong investment in affordable housing that now, with critical amendments, also includes a focus on increasing new affordable for sale housing stock with funding that assists with but is not limited to construction costs, land acquisition costs, tap fees, building permits and impact fees. The bill as amended also includes provisions or maintenance of support for land banking and land trusts, infrastructure improvements, states a preference for mixed income projects that meet the income needs of a statewide approach in the urban, rural and rural resort areas with average median income levels from 80% to 170% as applicable to the unique economic and housing cost factors in the county.
And further, the bill prioritizes transit oriented development, leveraging multiple public and private sources of funding, creation of opportunities to build intergenerational wealth for families and enable regional and inter-governmental agreements, accessible dwelling units, sustainable and energy efficient land practices.
Senate Bill 159 Revolving Loan Fund Invest in Affordable Housing – The bill creates a revolving loan fund to provide flexible, low interest, and below market-rate loan funding to make investments in transformational affordable housing with an initial transfer of 150 million dollars from the general fund, with the goal of generating enough return to replenish the program for future allocations. Eligible recipients include local governments, community partners, and developers.
Again, CAR is happy to support this dynamic legislation that will be truly transformative. Amendments in committee later this week are expected to only improve the bill by highlighting: mixed income development, and include a new focus on creation of new affordable for sale housing stock with funding that can assist with cost of construction, land acquisition tap fees, building permits and impact fees. And the legislative description will be further delineated with housing market data from CAR’s February market trends report. If you haven’t reviewed that, check out the CAR Feburary housing market trend report here.
Senate Bill 160 Loan Program Resident Owned Communities – The bill establishes a revolving loan and grant program to provide assistance and financing to mobile home owners seeking to organize and purchase their mobile home parks. CAR LPC supports this investment in allowing residents to purchase their own affordable housing.
And if you’re still reading this email and you want to learn even more….Check out the affordable housing event that took place on March 31st. You can catch the replay of the Colorado Politics special video zoom on Colorado Conversations about Affordable Housing with Ted Leighty, Jonathan Cappelli, Peter LiFari, Karen Kallenberg, and Liz Peetz talking about the affordable housing measures and forthcoming ballot box measures, and some of the ways we can address the affordable housing crisis in our state.
In Case You Missed It
Last Week to Apply for Marshal Fire Wildfire Realtor Relief Victims Assistance Funds
The CAR Foundation has received applications from 500 people in the Boulder/Superior area to help pay mortgage and rent payments after the Marshall Fire. Victims of the fire have until April 8 to submit or complete an application. More than $1,172,145 has been granted to date.
But please spread the word about this important deadline so no one is left behind!
Housing Industry News & Upcoming Events
April is Fair Housing Month
Join CAR for Fair Housing Month starting tomorrow. CAR’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee hopes you’ll join them–or compete against them–in this month’s Fair Housing challenge. On April 5, 12, and 26 there are educational events (with up to 4 CEs!) and you have until April 22 to complete NAR’s Fairhaven online simulation. Those who complete all four events will get some Fair Housing merchandise!
CAR Foundation Grant Cycle is Now Accepting Applications
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® Foundation Spring 2022 Grant Cycle: Invest in Colorado is now open!
1) The Foundation’s mission is to provide safe and attainable housing and advance homeownership.
The web form is now live for affordable housing Letters of Intent. Apply For Grants Here
The LOI deadline is end of business on Monday, April 11, 2022.
If invited to submit a full proposal, organizations will be notified no later than May 6, 2022.
Full proposals will be submitted via the web form and the full application deadline is May 27, 2022. Approved applications will be notified and funded in late June/early July.
Keep in mind that organizations funded in 2021 are not eligible for funding in 2022.
2) The Foundation also has mission related Marshall Fire relief grants available to qualified nonprofits working directly with victims.
Provide housing-related disaster relief for Coloradans affected by the Boulder County Wildfires of December 2021
- Align with the CAR Foundation’s strategic priorities for its grantmaking
Grant amounts will range from $5,000 to $50,000; applications will be accepted for disaster-related program support only, which can include financial assistance for victims.
The Fire Relief grant cycle will remain open from January 10, 2022 through December 31, 2022, or until funds have been fully depleted, whichever occurs first. Applications will be evaluated each week and are due every Friday by the end of business. Funds will be released weekly.
Spring Summit News and Major Investment Pledges
Last chance to purchase your Spring Summit RPAC Reception ticket!
You don’t want to miss out on a great evening supporting RPAC, enjoying a couple cocktails and bidding on some great items at the silent & live auction (rumor has it, there will even be Club Level – Broncos tickets to bid on!) The reception will be Wednesday, April 20th from 4:30pm – 6:30pm at the Sebastian Hotel in Vail. Be sure to pre-purchase your ticket by CLICKING HERE.
Have you made your Major Investor pledge for 2022?
April 20th is the last day to get your first $300 in towards your $1,000 major investment to be recognized by NAR at mid-year! You can use the link below to make your initial investment for the year.
Thank you to our elite group of members who have stepped up to support RPAC by being a Major Investor!