HOA Coalition Commends the State Senate Business Committee for passing HB 1279

The Homeownership Opportunity Alliance, a bipartisan statewide coalition of housing advocates, business leaders, metro area mayors and builders, commended the State Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee Monday for unanimously supporting HB 1279, the Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval bill. 

 The bill, also backed unanimously by the entire House, now moves to a vote on the senate floor. 

“We are optimistic that the entire Senate will follow the lead of its business committee and House colleagues and pass this critical piece of legislation,” said Kathie Barstnar, co-chair of the HOA coalition and Executive Director of NAIOP Colorado, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. “This bill may not solve all the housing problems, but it is a significant step towards building more condos and providing attainable housing options to working and middle class Coloradans who are struggling to buy a home.”
Mike Kopp, co-chair of the HOA coalition and President and CEO of Colorado Concern, lauded the bill as a positive development for Colorado’s business community and overall economy. 
“Employers and Colorado’s economic progress are dependent on being able to attract a strong workforce, and that means employees who can afford to live near where they work and buy a home to put down roots in the community,” he said.  “This bill is a step in the right direction.”  
The Metro Mayors Caucus – representing 40 cities and millions of constituents – joined with HOA to address the flaws in the state’s current construction defects law.  Although 17 Colorado cities and one county have passed comprehensive construction defects reform, concerns that state law may preempt local regulations has continued to discourage new residential development. 
“In a market that is increasingly burdening our residents with increased housing costs, we must provide more opportunity for affordable for-sale housing in Denver and in the state of Colorado,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in his testimony before the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee. “As the economy continues to grow and we add new jobs, we must have the diversity of housing available to meet the needs of these new employees. We have observed there is an artificial barrier to for-sale, multi-family housing being built in Denver due to current laws - the [barrier] HB 1279 works to address by correcting this imbalance to let the market meet the demand in a cost effective manner.” 
“I would like to thank our legislators for working together to forward HB 1279. As the mayor of the sixth largest city in Colorado, who has four train stations being constructed, for sale multi-family housing is very important to our community,” said Thornton Mayor Heidi K. Williams. “Please move this bill forward and get us one step closer to being able to once again have a diverse mix of housing product available to our citizens at different income levels.”
“I applaud the senate for putting partisanship aside to forge ahead with a solution to fix the construction defects law, removing the current barriers to building condominiums.  There is no silver bullet for solving the issue of affordable housing, but by making a wider variety of tools available, we have a better chance of finding solutions that work for our community,” said Lyons Mayor Connie Sullivan. 
Lyons lost roughly 70 mobile homes during the 2013 floods, and has not been successful in replacing a single lost unit, in part because housing proposals over the past three years did not provide the opportunity for ownership over leasing, she said. 
Brighton Mayor Richard McLean said he too supports the bill “as condos are an integral part of our housing.” 
This informed consent bill is a first step towards encouraging builders and developers to start building again while protecting the legal rights of individual homeowners. Nothing in HB 1279 stands in the way of individual owners who have a legitimate construction issue from seeking a legal remedy.  Additionally, this bill protects homeowners by ensuring they are aware of a potential lawsuit that could impact selling or refinancing their home and tightening up voting procedures so a majority of homeowners must approve initiation of a legal action against a builder rather than leaving that decision to the homeowner association board. 

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