DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis has said making Colorado more affordable was a top priority during his second term, but key measures to build more dense and affordable housing in the state fell short this year.
The governor threw support behind a land-use bill that aimed to allow denser housing on land normally zoned for single-family homes. That bill went through several changes, but still, the measure failed.
Multiple other measures looked to provide solutions to make housing more affordable. Another bill would have given local governments right of first refusal if multi-unit properties came on the market, so long as those governments designate the units for affordable housing.
But Polis vetoed the measure, saying on “Colorado Point of View” this week that it would have “added additional paperwork cost to real estate transactions. In my opinion, that would have caused upward pressure on the costs for apartments.”
Polis, lawmakers respond to affordable housing actions
The bill’s sponsors responded in a letter, saying “the governor has sided with the interests of private equity, hedge funds and their powerful corporate lobbyists over and against the affordability concerns of people in our state.”
It was signed by state Reps. Andrew Boesenecker and Emily Sirota, along with Sens. Faith Winter and Sonya Jaquez Lewis.
The group of four Democrats said the veto was alarming, “given the fact that the governor’s office was engaged in helping us count votes on the policy as late as the last week of the session.”
Polis focused on the fact that one piece of the housing agenda passed. He said will sign the measure, which looks to prevent cities from banning new housing altogether.
“A city cannot simply say, ‘Housing, we’re done with it. We don’t want it.’ So that’s important. Does it help? It prevents things from getting worse, I’ll give it that, but we need to do more,” Polis said.
You can watch the governor’s entire interview on “Colorado Point of View” this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 2.