Colorado Chamber Testifies in Support of Affordable Housing Legislation

This week, SVP of Governmental Affairs Meghan Dollar testified on the first Chamber-supported bill of the legislative session in front of the Senate Local Government and Housing Committee. Senate Bill 1 echoes one of the Chamber’s key priority issues: addressing the affordable housing crisis in Colorado to support our workforce.

The bill would provide $13 million to the Public-Private Partnership Office to encourage affordable workforce housing on state-owned land. Turning underutilized state land into new developments will create a solid foundation for future proposals regarding affordable housing in the coming months. Unlike other affordable housing bills, SB 1 focuses on taking bare property and utilizing it to build workforce housing and using the land Colorado can offer. The bill is sponsored by Senator Roberts, Senator Zenzinger, Rep. Shannon Bird, and Rep. Meghan Lukens.

A recent Colorado Chamber survey of some of Colorado’s business leaders assessed the state’s overall business climate and the factors impacting company decisions to expand or contract operations in Colorado. The study found that housing supply and affordability was a major concern for Colorado business owners. Tied to housing affordability, one of Colorado’s vulnerabilities was also employee recruitment and retention as employers are struggling to find and keep employees with such a limited supply of affordable housing.

Based on survey results and in alignment with our mission to champion a healthy business climate in Colorado, the Colorado Chamber’s government affairs council recently voted in support of SB 1. The Chamber recognizes that this proposal would be a valuable tool to address the issue of affordable housing and make Colorado an attractive place for both workers and businesses.

“Access to numerous housing options will grow a talented and diverse collective of workers which is key to Colorado’s economic prosperity,” Dollar said in her testimony.

The collaboration between the private and public sectors to bring Colorado residents and workers more affordable housing critical. The Chamber will continue to work with state legislators to find solutions to our housing needs statewide.