What Colorado Leaders Are Saying About New Laws to Build More Affordable Housing for Vibrant Communities & Increase Community Safety

GRAND JUNCTION — Today, in Grand Junction and Denver, Governor Jared Polis joined bill sponsors and community leaders to sign legislation to build innovative and affordable housing solutions for hardworking Coloradans and to help communities increase safety.

This afternoon, Gov. Polis will sign legislation creating new grant programs (SB22-145) to help local law enforcement recruit and retain officers representative of the communities they serve and provide resources for crime prevention and crisis intervention. Here's what law enforcement and community leaders are saying:

"The three grant programs that the bill funds are important to our communities and our profession. I appreciate the work of the sponsors and the eagerness of the Governor to sign the bill," said Summit County Sheriff Jamie FitzSimons.

"SB22-145 is a huge step forward in providing Colorado law enforcement agencies with the tools, equipment and training that are so desperately needed. In addition, this legislation allows law enforcement agencies to hire a more representative workforce to better serve and engage with Colorado's communities," said Colonel Matthew Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol

"To protect our communities and keep them safe, we must invest in law enforcement and crime prevention.  This bill does both.  By funding crisis intervention programs as well as recruitment & retention of police officers, this bill is a major step forward towards the Governor's goal of making  Colorado one of the safest states in the union," said Brian Mason, 17th Judicial District Attorney.

"This legislation recognizes the critical need for communities to develop crime prevention and intervention strategies specific to their local needs.  At the same time, it addresses the need for retaining and recruiting law enforcement, particularly those who represent the communities they serve. The Department of Public Safety is honored to be part of these new programs and truly believe they will help make Colorado one of the safest states in the country," said Debbie Oldenettel, Deputy Director of the Division of Criminal Justice at the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

"I consider it an honor to speak on behalf of a bill I personally support and stand behind 100%, and that's SB 22-145! I believe this bill was constructed in a way that will actually make an impact in our community, especially communities of color. We are grateful for the sponsors and especially grateful to our Governor, for signing a bill that puts community first," said Bishop Jerry Demmer, Denver Ministerial Alliance.

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"This policy is a great start to building a foundation for community groups to work collaboratively with law enforcement in an effort to bring police legitimacy and increase community safety. We look forward to continued collaborative efforts to provide needed substance abuse services for repeat offenders to become productive members of society. We thank the bill sponsors of SB22-145 for their work on this issue and the Governor's efforts as well as his support," said Thomas Hernandez, Executive Director of Tribe Recovery Homes.

Earlier today in Grand Junction, Gov. Polis signed the Innovative Housing Incentive Program (HB22-1282) into law, which invests in building more high-quality, affordable modular and 3-D printed homes. The bill was signed at the future site of Mosaic Housing's construction factory, which will add local workers to the payroll to create housing opportunities at 20% lower costs for on-site construction on the Western Slope and for the deployment of modular homes to communities across the state.

Here's what local officials and housing leaders are saying about the groundbreaking housing program:

"A lack of affordable and attainable housing has become a crisis in many communities across Colorado, one that we are feeling acutely here in the Grand Valley. The only way to solve this problem is with the innovation our state is known for and we are thrilled to welcome this facility to our community and grateful to Colorado lawmakers for this Innovative Housing Incentive Program bill that will help stand up these units and begin to close the housing gap," said Mayor Anna Stout, City of Grand Junction.

"Housing affordability is a critical issue for communities across Colorado, including our own; this incentivization of innovative housing manufacturing methods will allow the public and private sector to work together on lowering the cost of housing for every Coloradoan," said Mayor Pro Tem Abe Herman, City of Grand Junction.

"HB 1282 is truly transformational. Its impact in rebuilding the state's manufactured housing industry will be significant.  Supporting the launch of new factories across the state will help counties like Summit build affordable and climate friendly housing quickly, which is so desperately needed, said Tamara Pogue, Summit County Commissioner & County Representative to the Affordable Housing Transformational Task Force.

"Colorado is experiencing a housing crisis which COVID 19 has amplified. We are at a crisis point where it will take not one creative solution but many to ensure that our Colorado neighbors can have a safe, affordable place to call home.  HB22-1282 is an important part of the creative solutions the state prioritized this year," said Karen Kallenberg, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Colorado. "As an organization using innovative housing solutions to increase the affordable housing stock, Habitat for Humanity of Colorado appreciates the state's investment in HB22-1282."

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"The Colorado Municipal League is pleased to see HB22-1282 signed into law. The League supported the legislation because it will provide multiple benefits to Colorado's municipalities through job creation and increasing the supply of housing," said Meghan Dollar, Legislative Advocacy Manager for Colorado Municipal League (CML).

"Modular and other innovative housing has the potential to fill a significant gap that we currently face in Colorado's housing market, and this bill presents a much-needed injection of funds into our state's factory-built housing industry that will help to position Colorado as a leader in this space, and to expand the portfolio of affordable housing options that are desperately needed around the state," said Matt Scherr, Eagle County Commissioner & Vice Chair of Colorado Counties, Inc. (CCI) Land Use and Natural Resources steering committee.

"The Innovative Housing Incentive Program created by HB22-1282 is an opportunity for Colorado to be a national leader in the development of affordable and energy efficient housing. The affordable manufactured housing created by this program, will be a welcome solution to the crisis we face at the local level of housing our workers and families. Energy efficient housing is also a critical climate mitigation solution. Many thanks to the sponsors and Governor Polis for this creative and smart approach for Colorado," said Hilary Cooper, San Miguel County Commissioner.

"When Colorado leads the nation in driving innovative policy that creates new affordable housing units across the housing continuum but also brings new jobs to our state it's a win-win for Colorado and the Colorado Association of Realtors are proud to see truly transformative policy take hold in Colorado!," said Liz Peets, Vice President of Government Affairs, Colorado Association of Realtors.

"We are happy to support the passage of HB1282. Innovative housing solutions are desperately needed in Colorado.   Affordable housing organizations need housing solutions and innovation to help our state meet the needs of Coloradoans.  As a board member of Chfa I look forward to supporting a growing innovative housing industry in Colorado. This bill allows us to start to address the housing supply problem we have in our state," said Nate Peterson, Vederra Building Systems & Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) Board Member.

"Counties and Commissioners Acting Together (CCAT), as an early and active supporter of The Innovative Housing Incentive Program, is so excited to see Governor Polis sign this bill into law today. Our organization recognizes this legislation as an outstanding example of bipartisan leadership toward improving the availability of affordable housing in Colorado for many years to come," said Kelly McNicholas Kury, Pitkin County Commissioner.

"The need for affordable housing throughout the state is immense.  This bill will immediately help existing modular factories to expand and new factories to be built. This increased capacity will allow communities to build homes for hardworking Coloradans and boost homeownership in our state!," said Eric Schaefer, Vice President at Fading West Development in Buena Vista.

Filed Under: Government, State

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