Colorado Association of REALTORS | Capitol Connection – May 12, 2022
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Capitol Connection – May 12, 2022

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May 13 2022

Capitol Connection – May 12, 2022

Legislative Advocacy this Week at the State Capitol

Latest News on Green Energy Legislation

HB 1362: Building Greenhouse Gas Emissions: (LPC Position: Amend)

Sponsored by Reps. Tracey Bernett, Alex Valdez, and Sens. Chris Hansen, & Faith Winter

STATUS: sent to Governor Polis


Summary and Background:

The original bill granted the Colorado Energy Office rulemaking authority to create statewide green building codes for electrification and solar capacity, net zero energy and green codes. Local governments would have been mandated to adopt not-yet written 2024 energy codes by 2030, and new construction would be required to comply with 2021 IECC energy standards by January 2025. Several questions in the original bill draft included things like how we define “major renovation”, which is not defined in the statute.

The bill in final form is much different than the drafts being considered in early January. An energy code board reflecting geographic diversity and three major climate zones of the state will be appointed by the Colorado Energy Office and the Department of Local Affairs to develop a model electric and solar ready code and a model low energy and carbon code for adoption by local governments and state agencies, while the Colorado Energy Office will develop model green codes language. 

The code board will also determine potential waivers of codes related to buildings destroyed by natural disasters and standard methodologies for addressing substantial cost differentials and potential waivers when there are high costs.

Additionally, the final bill creates two grant programs that provide financial support to local governments, school districts, state agencies, special districts, utilities, nonprofits, and housing developers for the installation of high efficiency electric heating equipment in public buildings  or within multiple structures within a neighborhood. 

CAR and Stakeholder Advocacy on HB22-1362:

CAR fought specifically for language around affordability to be present and be better defined, allowing for consumer choice of natural gas or electricity, as well as supported  local government representation on the new Energy Code Board, the body responsible for the development of new statewide energy codes. This ensures that codes are written in a manner that factors in the price of housing regarding energy efficiency requirements. CAR is agnostic about green energy improvements, but believes consumers need to have choices that are affordable in this very low inventory and high cost of housing marketplace.

As a result of persistent advocacy from CAR and several housing industry stakeholders, the bill went through significant amendments in both the House and the Senate, where in the latter a strike-below changed the bill to be much more locally inclusive and factored in affordability into the code writing process. More money was added to the local grants program, and a timeline for local governments to adopt codes was agreed to in collaboration with stakeholders. One of the other big improvements to the bill also included bringing some of the bill back to the purview of the Department of Local Affairs too, which in other affordable housing legislation has a connection to financial incentives such as the strong communities grant program.

In Case You Missed It

Headlines from Capitol Hill and Legislative Meetings in DC

NAR Property Management Forum

Last week in Maryland, for the Mid-year Legislative conference with the theme of Home Front property management, speakers Ryan Coon, Gideon Blustein, and Dawn Carpenter presented to residential and commercial REALTORS on the ways for property managers to further destigmatize the use of Section 108 housing vouchers and encouraged REALTORS to participate in educating the public about how to best use housing vouchers. Attendees also discussed the delicate balance of creating housing opportunities for people using public assistance while also maintaining the integrity of private property rights. 

REALTOR Talking Points this Year for Capitol Hill Visits:

Housing Supply and Affordability Act – creates a Local Housing Policy Grant program for cities, states, tribes, and regional associations to enact pro-housing policies at the local levels, to help begin to address the significantly low levels of inventory and underinvestment in housing that threatens the availability of the American Dream of homeownership.

Neighborhood Homes Investment Act – Offers tax credits to attract private investment for building and rehabilitating owneroccupied homes, and creates pathways to neighborhood stability through sustainable homeownership.  This incentive could lead to building or rehabilitating more than 500,000 homes for low- and moderate-income homeowners over the next decade.

GREATER Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act – Provides matching grants to incentivize public and private investment in abandoned and underutilized shopping malls to actively repurpose commercial properties for affordable housing opportunities.

Revitalizing Downtowns Act – Creates a tax credit to convert unused office buildings into residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties, especially after offices change to reflect post-pandemic workforce needs of remote work schedules for employees. The tax credits are important because they can be costly renovations without incentivizing these costs.

Housing Fairness Act – Allows HUD to continue to conduct fair housing testing by increasing the financial support to enforce the Fair Housing Act. As many cases go unreported, it’s critically important to support the testing that gets at implicit bias and goes a long way to improve Fair Housing Act compliance throughout the country.

[Coming Soon ….Stay tuned for future details about meetings in-person with our 9 Colorado Members of Congress that will be scheduled during the district work periods this summer for your chance to meet with Colorado Representatives and Senators.]

Heard on Capitol Hill:

Due to Covid-19 protocols being limited to very small group size and the House of Representatives being out of session, at the May meetings, CAR staff, the CAR Chair and our Federal Political Coordinators (FPC’s) met in very small meetings with staff from Senator Hickenlooper and Senator Bennett’s office last week to talk about the important pieces of legislation that NAR is supporting this year.

The national housing shortage of 5.5 million units, continuing to address Fair Housing concerns, these NAR priority pieces of legislation, wildfire mitigation, and conversations around how Colorado is using the American Rescue Act (ARPA) funds in state affordable housing legislation were the main focus of the meetings.

Senate staff members demonstrated great interest in CAR’s market trends throughout our state to get a sense of how pervasive the affordable housing crisis in Colorado is in different geographic regions of our state. Especially as the affordable housing legislation in Colorado is a great example of why the national congressional bills around grants and repurposing of commercial properties work to create new affordable housing inventory.

Housing Industry News & Upcoming Events

Don’t Miss the Colorado Property Management Forum — Coming Soon

CAR’s Property Management Forum will be held virtually on June 9th at 10am. The forum is designed for all property managers and topics will include regulation, legislation, market trends, and industry issues. Guest speakers at the forum include Greg Bacheller (Real Property Management Colorado, LLC) who will provide trends and stats in the rental market, Peter Muccio, Esq. (Tschetter Sulzer, P.C.) for legal issues, and a legislative review of the 2022 session Colorado General Assembly from Liz Peetz (Vice President of Government Affairs, CAR), Drew Hamrick (Apartment Association of Metro Denver), and William Mutch (Colorado Landlord Legislative Coalition). The link to register will be made available soon. Contact Lisa Hansmeier at lhansmeier@coloradorealtors.com for more information.

RPAC Announcements

Upcoming RPAC Events

RPAC ROAD TOUR 2022

The first Annual RPAC Road Tour starts May 16th! We’re looking forward to meeting our members across the state, educating them on RPAC, and going over our policy accomplishments from the Legislative Session! 

Are you a Broker Owner? Join us for a private Broker Breakfast on Wednesday, May 25th at 8:30am in Cherry Creek. We will be joined by our friends from NAR to get an update on the political landscape at the national level, along with local and state updates! SPACE IS LIMITED –  be sure to RSVP to Kerrianne, ksavery@coloradorealtors.com ASAP.

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