Growth/Housing

Our “On the Issues” pages draw from speeches, interviews, campaign websites, our candidate questionnaire and prior media coverage, including our own. These pages will continue to be updated.

Steve Barlock

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “Our current situation has allowed out-of-state and out-of-country speculators to acquire buildings in Colorado including empty residences and those used for illegal activities. I would work with the legislature to increase taxes on foreign owned property which is artificially creating higher prices and taking Colorado citizens out of the game. However, the best policy to help our citizens is to provide an economy with fewer regulations which President Trump has shown works well. I support the Telluride decision, and I believe in free market principles not socialistic bureaucracy and forced scarcity. It would be a disaster to have public officials, rather than the free market, set rents.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Cynthia Coffman

“I don’t see anyone talking about the issues that I’m going to be talking about. And in the positive tone, growth has outpaced our infrastructure, and there has been a lack of planning for affordable housing, for health care and schools.” CBS Denver

Answering one policy question, she did say she believed affordable housing is one of ‘the greatest priorities that we have to tackle,’ and said she would work with local governments. ‘Honestly local communities know how to deal with so many issues, they don’t need the state to tell them how to do it. They need the state to give a helping hand so they can build those houses and apartments.’ She said as attorney general she has found innovative ways of working with the federal government to find housing for domestic violence victims.” The Colorado Independent

Lew Gaiter

In The Colorado Independent’s candidate questionnaire, Gaiter said he would not support overturning Colorado’s rent control ban.

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “The needs for affordable housing vary from location to location within Colorado. A statewide solution which might well help the Denver Metro area may in fact hurt areas in more rural Colorado. A solution would be to empower counties and cities to appropriately address affordable housing on a local basis.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Noel Ginsburg

Create a Statewide Planning and Development board with members from our transportation, housing, economic development, water, energy, and infrastructure offices, along with leadership from rural Colorado will ensure our infrastructure projects are coordinated across departments and are focused on creating the largest impact for communities across our state. For example, this board can unlock the benefits of affordable housing and economic development by creating mass transit systems that connect residents in affordable housing units to areas of high economic development.” Noel for Colorado

We need jobs and economic development not just on the Front Range, but from the Northern to the Southern Mountains, and the Western Slope to the Eastern Plains. Our small and rural communities need to have just as much of a say in our future as any of our cities.” Noel for Colorado

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “Affordable housing is vital to Colorado’s continued economic growth. It is a critical piece of the puzzle that ensures all Coloradans have the opportunity to live in the communities in which they work, and helps maintain Colorado’s status as a desirable place for new businesses offering high quality jobs – but we are not doing enough. Our state lacks a holistic vision for development and planning that looks at how our demographics, infrastructure, transportation systems, public lands, natural resources, and affordable housing intersect. Rather than continue to grow unfettered, I believe our government’s policy should actively promote balanced and sustained growth that looks at the whole picture. For this reason, I support funding a new statewide planning board, in coordination with a new affordable housing project fund for developments built near public transit stations, and other areas that best cater to affordable housing residents. In addition, I will support expanded funding for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, deed restriction funds to maintain our affordable housing stock, land swaps, and funding for new affordable housing public-private partnerships.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Mike Johnston

“Mike supports working families by finding innovative solutions to Colorado’s financial and infrastructure challenges. He has protected main street businesses, found innovative ways to finance new construction of rural schools and fought to make Colorado’s tax structure both fair and adequate to fund the state’s needs.” Mike Johnston for Colorado

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “I have a plan to encourage the creation of additional housing units by creating public private partnerships to build and maintain affordable housing. We do have an affordable housing shortage, and study after study has demonstrated that rent controls eventually reduce the amount of housing available in a market, rather than increase it. As New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman wrote in 2000: ‘The analysis of rent control is among the best-understood issues in all of economics, and — among economists, anyway — one of the least controversial. In 1992 a poll of the American Economic Association found 93 percent of its members agreeing that ‘a ceiling on rents reduces the quality and quantity of housing.’” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Cary Kennedy

Today, one in four Coloradans spends more than 50% of their income on housing and 40% of renters in our state spend more than a third of their income on rent. Because of these barriers, along with wage and income stagnation, many Coloradans are not  participating in the great economic progress our state is experiencing. …As governor, I will establish a dedicated affordable housing fund that will support local communities as they find innovative and effective solutions for their unique affordable housing challenges. This new fund will increase the supply of affordable housing across the state.” Cary Kennedy for Governor

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “Local communities should be able to address their affordable housing challenges in the ways that are best for their communities.  I believe the best way to support local communities is to focus on the supply of housing and to protect  renters’ rights. That is why as governor I would  create the first ever statewide affordable housing fund to support local communities in financing affordable housing. My plan also  protects the rights of tenants including using funds from a higher eviction filing fee to provide legal assistance to those at risk of being evicted.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Greg Lopez

As Governor and chief advocate for Colorado’s citizens, I will double our efforts to promote an environment – within and outside of our state – that creates job opportunities for individuals with varied level of skills and education. A good paying job allows someone to provide for their family and plan for their future. …I will do more as Governor to stabilize the “boom and bust” cycle plaguing our state’s small business history. As Governor, my aim is to boost the health and expansion of small business, and develop new small business opportunities in the neglected counties in our state. But I think you would agree: We need to boost innovation, ideas, and expand access to capital funding.” Lopez for Governor

In The Colorado Independent’s candidate questionnaire, Lopez said he would not support overturning Colorado’s rent control ban. 

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “As governor, I would listen carefully for new ideas on how best to encourage the development rental properties. State government should not dictate or interfere with free market solutions. Rent control laws are impossible to enforce and the Colorado Supreme Court ruled against rent control in 2000.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Donna Lynne

As a long-time business leader, I have created thousands of good paying jobs in our state and focused on providing the right support for our employees to succeed. I’m a strong supporter of raising the minimum wage and doing more to help hardworking Coloradans get ahead. I also know that there is real income inequality in this country and our state, and this is especially magnified among our minority and rural communities. Focusing on education at all levels is an important way to address this challenge, and we should continue and expand our career training and apprenticeship programs.”Donna Lynne for Colorado

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “Affordable housing is not just a Denver issue. Unfortunately, as I’ve traveled to each of our 64 counties in my role as Lt. Governor and Chief Operating Officer, I can tell you that this issue impacts everyone in our state – from our mountain communities to the eastern plains. …I have high expectations for what the government can and should do to support affordable housing development. These include the broader usage of low income housing tax credits, and the addition of a cabinet level Department of Housing to centralize and coordinate strategic housing issues.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Victor Mitchell

In The Colorado Independent’s candidate questionnaire, Mitchell said he would not support overturning Colorado’s rent control ban.

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “Eliminate the construction defect law, which would increase condominium development and broaden housing options for all.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Jared Polis

“Colorado’s economic growth makes us the envy of other states near and far. Our entrepreneurial spirit has pioneered massive advances in technology, manufacturing, and energy development. But when you take a closer look at our economy, there is a glaring problem: Colorado’s cost of living has far outgrown most people’s incomes. …Take-home pay has barely increased while the costs to rent or buy a house have skyrocketed. Salaries are almost flat at the same time that our state is experiencing unprecedented growth. In Colorado, we share the value that we should succeed together. Front Range economic growth should be coupled with prosperity on the Western Slope, the Eastern Plains, and Southern Colorado.” Jared Polis for Colorado

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “The cost of living in Colorado has increased significantly while wages have stayed the same. I’m focused on solving both parts of this problem: creating more affordable housing options while raising incomes across the board so that more Coloradans can afford to live in the communities they call home. On the housing front, we need new ideas like transit-centered affordable housing development to give more Coloradans the ability to work and live in their communities, take cars off the roads, and spur locally driven, environmentally friendly development across the state. It’s also the governor’s job to lead and to convene people. I look forward to partnering with local leaders to address our housing needs.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Doug Robinson

In The Colorado Independent’s candidate questionnaire, Robinson said he would not support overturning Colorado’s rent control ban. 

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “I’d support education programs that encourage kids to get into construction jobs, but government isn’t the answer to every problem. We can let regular Coloradans lead the way on these issues. Right now a coalition of private sector organizations led by Gary Community Investments is working to tackle this very problem by building new, affordable housing options.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Walker Stapleton

“…Many people across Colorado still struggle with underemployment, looking for more hours and income to try to make ends meet.  While I will champion policies that spur job growth throughout Colorado, as Governor I will never forget about rural Colorado and the Western Slope, whose priorities have too often have been forgotten in the halls of our State Capitol.  …As Governor, I will apply a strict cost-benefit analysis to any bill that crosses my desk, and will work actively with the legislature to promote common sense solutions that will create jobs and improve the lives of families across our state.” Stapleton for Colorado

Erik Underwood

As Governor, I will work with the public and private sectors on creating new and inclusive economic opportunities for rural and urban Coloradans. Everyone deserves to have an opportunity and access to the American Dream.” Underwood for Governor

I will work the public and private sector to implement a program for homeless vets here in Colorado. I also will work communities and organizations to address addiction and mental health issues affecting vets. We need to create a housing and treatment program for vets. Where upon successful completion of a 3- 6 months program, we will help them get back on their feet, with permanent housing and workforce development training, so they can reenter the workforce.” Underwood for Governor

In The Colorado Independent’s candidate questionnaire, Underwood said he would not support overturning Colorado’s rent control ban. 

On addressing the affordable housing crisis: “I would also incorporate property tax exemption or cap for seniors who are affected by gentrification.” The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Photo credit: Richard Parmiter, Creative Commons, Flickr