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New bill to address Colorado’s intertwined climate & housing crises introduced

68% of Coloradans support a state law requiring cities and counties to increase housing near public transit

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DENVER — The bill, Concerning Measures to Increase the Affordability of Housing in Transit-Oriented Communities (HB24-1313), was introduced at the legislature to address the interconnected climate and affordable housing crises.

HB24-1313 promotes building more affordable homes near transit, empowers local governments to meet the housing needs of their communities, rewards financial assistance to cities and counties that allow for more housing and helps residents stay in their communities.

“We thank Representatives Iman Jodeh and Steven Woodrow and Senators Faith Winter and Chris Hansen for introducing this bill, which will reduce pollution and help ensure that Coloradans have access to a home close to where they work, play and go to school,” said Jessica Goad, Vice President of Programs at Conservation Colorado. “This bill will shorten commute times, reduce emissions and improve air quality, while keeping communities healthier and protecting nature. We urge legislators to vote yes on HB24-1313 to keep Colorado as a national leader in fighting the climate crisis.”

With this bill, the state legislature can empower local governments to adopt policies to build housing near bus stops, train stations, business and shopping districts. Compact, transit-oriented development, like what is proposed in this bill, reduces household vehicle miles traveled by 20-57%.

“A successful and useful public transit system connects people to their destinations, but our current transit stations lack sufficient housing and job density to generate ridership. Transportation is the largest source of pollution in Colorado and legalizing more housing opportunities near transit will reduce car trips and planet-warming pollution by giving Coloradans access to healthy, affordable, and sustainable transportation options,” said Matt Frommer, Senior Transportation Associate at Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.

The support for bold action on housing and climate issues is widespread among Coloradans directly impacted by these crises. Voters in Colorado agree that the state needs action from the legislature to support efficient and affordable development, reduce sprawl and improve transportation options to save energy, water, land and cut pollution. Seven out of 10 voters believe local governments in Colorado are not doing enough to reduce the cost of renting or buying a home.

“This bill will open doors to developing more housing near transit hubs, which is a crucial step toward a sustainable future that better serves the needs of Colorado residents,” said Alana Miller, Colorado Policy Director for Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Strategically concentrating housing, businesses, and amenities around transit helps create communities where residents can easily access public transportation and reduce their reliance on personal vehicles which fosters more efficient and accessible communities.”

By prioritizing efficient and affordable housing near workplaces and schools, the bill will conserve resources, improve air quality, and protect vulnerable communities from pollution-related health issues.