Governor Jared Polis signing House Bill 1245 into state law. Photo Courtesy | Alana Romans.
Governor Jared Polis signing House Bill 1245 into state law. Photo Courtesy | Alana Romans.

On May 17th, Governor Jared Polis signed four bills into law that will directly impact affordable housing at the statewide level. These bill signings were a momentous occasion for the State, as Colorado is officially no longer one of the last remaining states without a dedicated source of funding for affordable housing!

The following is an overview of the bills provided by the Counties and Commissioners Acting Together (CCAT). The organization is, “a group of counties and individual commissioners across Colorado working to provide a unified, nonpartisan and independent voice at the statehouse.”

HB 19-1228: Expansion of the State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)

Representatives Bird, Titone & Senators Zenzinger, Tate

  • Raise the cap of total allowed state tax credits for the program from the current $5 million to $10 million.
  • The tax credit raises private sector equity needed to support the development and preservation of affordable housing.

HB 19-1245: Affordable Housing Funding from Vendor Fee Changes

Representative Mike Weissman & Senators Julie Gonzales & Mike Foote

  • Under current law, businesses can keep 3.1/3% of sales tax they collect for administration purposes. This bill would increase the vendor allowance to 4% and set a $1,000 monthly cap on the amount businesses can keep.
  • The savings would be transferred to the housing development grant fund within the Department of Local Affairs, which would be used to improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable housing in Colorado.
  • This minor change in the way the allowance is administered would result in roughly $8 million being invested in housing across Colorado in years one and two, with additional funding targeted toward other policy priorities, and $45-50 million per year thereafter.

HB 19-1322: Expand Supply Affordable Housing

Representatives Roberts, Will & Senators Moreno, Coram

Establish in the Division of Housing a new state fund to provide on-going and sustainable funding for programs and projects that improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable workforce housing in Colorado.  Possible revenue sources include General Fund, Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, Marijuana Cash Funds, and Gifts, Grants and Donations.

HB 19-1319: Incentives for Builders to Facilitate Affordable Housing 

Representatives Bird, McKean & Senators Winter, Hisey

Two policy changes to support private and nonprofit developers in initiating and sustaining affordable housing projects.  Affordable housing developers are having difficulty obtaining financing from lenders because the claw back gives lenders too much discomfort. So, even though they are ready to build affordable units, developers cannot obtain the necessary financing to begin projects. 

  • Require an inventory of Public Lands Suitable for Affordable Housing Development.
  • Limit claw back of property tax exemption fund for affordable housing projects. This will alleviate lenders’ concerns which hinder development of sorely needed affordable and attainable housing. 
Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) staff with Governor Jared Polis.
Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) staff with Governor Jared Polis.