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Colorado Lawmakers Push for Updated Zoning Regulations to Combat Statewide Housing Crisis

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Colorado Lawmakers Push for Updated Zoning Regulations to Combat Statewide Housing Crisis

After years of underbuilding due to outdated zoning laws, state lawmakers worry that Colorado is unprepared to welcome an influx of migrating homebuyers

January 27, 2023
Denver city and surrounding suburban housing
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Colorado lawmakers are proposing a shift to state centralization of zoning regulations after a two-year homebuying frenzy characterized by a record net inflow of migrating buyers coupled with soaring prices and a severe shortage of for-sale housing. 

To address and mitigate an ongoing affordability crisis, state leaders are advocating for land-use reform that would prohibit residential growth caps, change parking requirements, legalize denser developments across the state, and lead to new construction near transit corridors, The Denver Post reports.

The need is mounting: New housing builds have cratered since the 2008 financial crisis, according to analyses by the Common Sense Institute and the Colorado Housing Affordability Project, as migration into the state and prices have surged. Colorado needs to build tens of thousands of new units each year to just keep the market stable. Supporters of reform say the best way to kickstart that growth is through statewide land-use reform that’s geared toward supply, speed, density and affordability.

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