All hands on deck for Colorado housing crisis

This condominium project near Coors Field will include 321 units.
Photo Courtesy of Aaron Ontiveroz, Denver Post

By Denver Post Editorial Board:

Lawmakers who have blocked a fix for the state’s lack of condo construction — a list that begins with Democratic House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst — should read a recent article by The Denver Post’s Aldo Svaldi and see if they can still remain complacent.

The article chronicles the alarming fact that housing construction has now lagged behind demand for years, and quotes an expert warning that the shortage could become chronic, with all that entails — such as punishing rents and home prices that routinely outstrip income gains.

“This is a perfect cocktail for a really bad housing outcome,” Washington-based housing economist Elliot Eisenberg said.

Now obviously the construction shortfall — “about 55,000 homes and apartments short” of what Colorado has needed since 2012 based on population growth — is due to a number of factors and not just that builders have been unwilling to build condos because of litigation fears. But political leaders’ should be looking to reduce as many obstacles to construction as possible in order to encourage new projects rather than bottle up potential solutions with endless objections. And yet the construction defects issue has been on the legislature’s plate for several years without effective resolution and in defiance of united support for action by the region’s mayors.

Eisenberg believes the best this region can hope to do is “to build enough houses so the situation doesn’t get worse” — a rather depressing outlook if accurate. And yet even holding the line could be difficult if Colorado remains among the top states in attracting new residents.

Indeed, the magnitude of the shortfall in overall housing should be a wake-up call not only for construction defects opponents but for anyone who imagines that metro Denver can solve its housing problems... Read the rest of the story on

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