Governor Polis Takes Action to Help Address Colorado’s Housing Challenges

Colorado’s housing supply has not kept pace with population growth. The state has current unmet housing needs of tens of thousands of units and will continue to grow — it is estimated the state will add 1.72 million people by 2050. Nearly one-third of Colorado households spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing and people are forced to live further away from where they work, leading to increased traffic and decreased access to job opportunities. In order to help address this ongoing challenge, Colorado Governor Jared Polis took action, signing a new executive order on Aug.21.

“Colorado is at a crossroads, we can take action to help create more housing now or we can go the way of California where home prices are upwards of $1 million. The choice is clear: Coloradans want a rejection of the status quo, which is why I am taking the actions that I can within my authority to streamline and speed up approval and ensure the government is not a barrier to housing being built while helping save people money,” said Governor Polis. “Colorado must have more housing that people can afford in the state, especially for families, our seniors looking to downsize, for our businesses looking to grow and hire workers, and for the next generation and it’s going to take all of us working together to help achieve these goals.”

The goals of the Governor’s executive order include increasing housing opportunities, protecting the environment and aligning with climate goals, aligning transportation with the state’s growing needs, protecting and increasing economic growth and mobility, establishing state processes that are as quick and as efficient as possible, and considering the context and needs of different regions of the state.

This Executive Order aligns the Polis administration’s programs and policies with increasing housing supply close to existing, new or expanded public transit, safe biking, and walking corridors, places of employment, and other everyday needs of Coloradans. Increasing the housing supply in this manner can save people money on housing. Efficient housing types also use significantly less energy and less water per capita per acre, saving residents money and reducing pollution and conserving our precious water and natural resources.

“The high cost of housing also creates less access to jobs, more challenges for Colorado businesses, and threatens our economic success. This Executive Order is one of many important steps to help older adults who want to downsize, young people seeking to live on their own, and first-time homebuyers unable to find homes within their budgets because there is not enough inventory and the homes that are available are too expensive and do not meet their needs. We need more housing for every budget while protecting Colorado’s vital resources, including the state’s air, water, and open spaces, and reducing sprawl. The steps we’re taking today are needed to align our state agencies towards these goals,” said Governor Polis.

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