Housing Advocates Call for Legislative Fixes to Rising Rents

“ALEC has definitely been an ongoing actor across the country when it comes to housing.” — Celeste Martinez, Organizing Director, United for a New Economy Colorado.

 

 

Efforts to curb the pace of raising rates appear to be gaining traction nationwide and in Colorado, the participants reaching out to elected officials at the state level contend repealing a 1981 law would return decision making power for such matters to local governments.

This preemption law governs the legal landscape in as many as 35 states, barring the municipalities within from enacting ordinances that regulate rental rates. The American Legislative Exchange Council first crafted model legislation that initiated the trend in 1995 and critics argue the policy has contributed to the creation a housing affordability crisis in several American cities.

United For a New Economy worked as part of a coalition to host what’s been dubbed a day of lobbying for housing justice, and their organizing director Celeste Martinez told KGNU that the 1981 Colorado law would later be used by other states through ALEC, as something of a template. “ALEC has definitely been an ongoing actor across the country when it comes to housing.” She said.

According to statistical information available at rentjungle.com, costs for rental units in the Denver area have grown an average of $670 since 2011.

Proposition 10 was a rent control initiative that made the ballot in California for the most recent election cycle, but was defeated by a significant margin in a campaign that saw opponents spending $75 million against the ballot measure.