Lawmakers Remove Rent Control Provision from Mobile Homes Bill

Industry News ,

Friday evening, lawmakers amended HB22-1287, ‘Protections For Mobile Home Park Residents,’ to remove a strict rent control provision on Colorado’s mobile home parks. If passed, it would have become the first statewide rent control in Colorado’s history and would have reduced both the quantity and quality of the state’s mobile housing stock. Governor Polis helped spur Friday evening’s amendment, threatening to veto the bill if its rent control provision was not removed. This was a prudent step toward the Polis administration’s goal of increasing Colorado’s housing supply.

“We applaud Governor Polis’ opposition to statewide rent control – legislation that risked worsening Colorado’s already-severe housing shortage,” said Drew Hamrick, senior vice president of government affairs and general counsel for the Colorado Apartment Association. “Across the country, rent control has a legacy of decimating cities’ housing stock. If lawmakers hope to bring down housing costs, we encourage them to create new incentives to build, not tear existing ones down. Governor Polis has again demonstrated his commitment to affordable housing in Colorado and the economic sophistication required to achieve those goals.”

Unmet demand continues to fuel rising costs across Colorado’s housing market. As developers struggle to keep pace with population growth, the state’s supply-demand gap grows, with multiple Coloradans competing for every available unit. The shortage of housing units now exceeds 113,000. This crunch is especially burdensome for Colorado’s low-and-fixed-income residents, who are at a competitive disadvantage when prices are bid up. HB22-1287’s rent control provision was an ill-advised attempt to bring down costs – one that didn’t just fail to address the issue, but risked worsening it.

Rent control artificially reduces housing units’ value, forcing housing providers to offer their properties at below-market rates. This dramatically reduces developers’ incentive to construct new units, as the artificially deflated rental market offers a lower return on investment. In cities that implement rent control, new construction decreases dramatically, producing substantial declines in the availability of rental housing.

“The rent control provision in HB22-1287 would have significantly constrained future growth in Colorado’s mobile home industry,” said Mark Williams, executive vice president of the Colorado Apartment Association. “Mobile-home parks are a small but important provider of unsubsidized, affordable housing in Colorado. We’re grateful for the governor’s opposition to lawmakers’ misguided targeting of this valuable supplier of housing.”

To bring down costs, Colorado must embrace common-sense solutions to the statewide housing crunch, incentivizing developers to invest in new high-density builds. If Colorado fails to increase its rate of construction, housing demand will continue to go unmet, and housing costs will rise across the board. Tax credits, development grants and permit-fee reductions are examples of effective, pro-building policies that Colorado’s lawmakers should adopt. To learn more about housing affordability in Colorado – or to better understand the negative impacts of rent control – visit www.weshapehousing.org.

About the Colorado Apartment Association

The Colorado Apartment Association (CAA) is a non-profit trade association representing owners, developers, management companies, and Supplier Partners of the multifamily rental housing industry. CAA is comprised of four local affiliates from across the state. The association represents over 3,000 members who own and manage over 375,000 apartment homes, which totals more than $88 billion in assets. Together with the local affiliates, the National Multifamily Housing Council, and the National Apartment Association, CAA offers a strong network of information, education and representation of the multifamily housing industry.