DENVER — A controversial bill that would have allowed rent control policies in the state was effectively killed in the Colorado Senate on Tuesday, earning immediate praise from those in the apartment and home-building industries.
That measure, SB225, was laid over until Thursday, one day before this year's session is set to end. Under the rules of the Legislature, that means there won't be enough time left to get the measure passed.
The bill would have repealed a 1981 law that banned rent control in Colorado, allowing local governments to pass ordinances setting rent control policies. Such policies are intended to help make housing more affordable to low-income renters.
Opponents of the bill, however, said that if affordable housing is the goal, there are better ways to achieve it.
"Rent control policies have failed Americans from coast to coast, as they reduce rental housing supply, drive up the cost of existing rents, lead to blighted properties and neighborhoods and reduce choices and mobility for renters," said Mark Windhager, president of the Colorado Apartment Association. "It appears that members from both parties agreed that Coloradans deserve better than a policy proven to fail in addressing Colorado's housing crisis."
The bill, introduced by Democrats, had support from a handful of affordable housing advocacy nonprofits, but even more opposition from well-heeled groups, such as the Colorado Association of Home Builders.
Currently, there are four other measures aimed at making more affordable housing available to those in need:
■ HB1322 establishing a $30 million Housing Development Grant Fund to help would-be homeowners with down payments, repair dilapidated homes or provide rental assistance.
■ HB1319 creating incentives for developers to build more affordable homes.
■ HB1228 expanding the state's Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program.
■ HB1075 creating a state income tax credit to promote employer-assisted housing projects.
All four measures are still working their way through the Legislature, but they don't have much time left before this year's session ends on Friday.