Legislative Priorities

Community Economic Defense Project (CEDP) partners with low-income and working Coloradans to confront economic injustice. Championing legislation at the Colorado capitol to create systemic change is a vital part of this work. Using lessons learned from our clients, our teams, and their feedback, CEDP works to pass policies protecting community wealth, holding predatory actors accountable, and keeping people in their homes. During the 2024 legislative session, all eight of our priority bills passed and will become Colorado law. Many more bills were passed that CEDP contributed to, deeply engaged with, and actively supported, making 2024 a landmark year for both CEDP’s policy work and for housing policy overall. Find out more about each of these bills below:

2024 Legislative Wins

Priority Bills 

HB24-1098: For Cause For The Eviction of a Tenant

Our priority bill HB24-1098 is now law in Colorado! Governor Jared Polis signed House Majority Leader Monica Duran, Rep. Javier Mabrey, and Sens. Julie Gonzales and Nick Hinrichsen’s For Cause Eviction legislation, HB24-1098, into law in April 2024. This legislation will protect thousands of Colorado tenants who face unjust evictions and help stabilize more households in their communities.

Specifically, the For Cause Eviction law will: 

  • Protect against racial and gender discrimination. 
  • Prevent households that rent from unnecessarily experiencing displacement and homelessness. 
  • Reduce the number of evictions in Colorado and protect against displacement and gentrification. 
  • Create long-term stability for tenants and landlords. 
  • Save Colorado families money by keeping a roof over their heads and roots in their community. 

SB24-094: Safe Housing for Residential Tenants

CEDP priority bill SB24-094: Safe Housing for Residential Tenants to protect Colorado renters from unsafe living conditions, was signed into law in May 2024! Sponsored by Sens. Julie Gonzales and Tony Exum, along with Reps. Mandy Lindsay and Meg Froelich, SB24-094 ensures Colorado tenants can more easily use the state’s Warranty of Habitability Law to address health and safety hazards in their housing. The law took effect immediately with the governor’s signature.

Specifically, SB24-094 will:

  • Set reasonable notice requirements so tenants don’t need to pay an attorney to ask landlords to address issues.
  • Set presumptive timeframes for completing repairs and remediation, which can also remain flexible for landlords to adapt to unforeseen issues.
  • Clarify the process for when landlords must provide alternative lodging arrangements while they work to complete repair. 
  • Establish policies to allow tenants to use their appropriate cooling in extreme heat.
  • Outline appropriate legal remedies if a rental becomes uninhabitable. 

HB24-1051: Towing Carrier Regulation

HB24-1051 passed and was signed into law in May. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Andrew Boesenecker and Tisha Mauro, as well as Sens. Julie Gonzalez and Kevin Priola, addresses a growing problem we’ve encountered as we’ve served our clients: Colorado’s towing system needs reform. Investigations by the Colorado Attorney General’s office found that one of the biggest, vertically integrated towing companies in the state violated numerous industry regulations, including the Towing Bill of Rights, a CEDP priority bill passed in 2022.

When implemented, HB24-1051 will:

  • Give the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) the authority to remove the licenses of towing carriers for specific violations.
  • Prohibit for-profit towing companies from patrolling residential lots.
  • Require landlords and property managers to direct tows in writing, via a signed form.
  • Create additional enforcement mechanisms for District Attorneys and the Colorado Attorney General to address illegal or predatory tows.

HB24-1337: HOAs and HB24-1267: Special Districts

This session, we worked on two bills to help address a growing problem across the state: Colorado families fall victim to foreclosure based on unpaid HOA and Metro District assessments. When steep attorneys’ fees are tacked on to this debt, many people can’t come up with the money in time to avoid losing their homes. Real estate investors snap up foreclosed homes for a fraction of their value, leaving the homeowner with little to nothing once the HOA or Metro District and its attorneys are paid.

House Bill 24-1267, legislation to protect homeowners from metropolitan districts’ predatory practices, was signed into law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis in April. This new law requires covenant-enforcing metro districts to adopt written policies on fines and fees. It would also prevent covenant-enforcing metro districts from initiating foreclosures based on unpaid charges. The law will go into effect in early August. Reps. Iman Jodeh and Jennifer Bacon, as well as Sens. James Coleman and Chris Hansen, sponsored the bill. 

HB24-1337,  the companion bill to HB24-1267, was signed into law in early June. HB24-1337 requires HOAs to expend all other options before initiating a foreclosure, limits homeowner liability for attorney’s fees, and introduces a right of redemption when a home is sold at auction that creates a window to allow the homeowner or another nonprofit or affordable housing entity to purchase the home for the auction price- keeping community wealth in the community. This legislation was sponsored by Reps. Iman Jodeh and Jennifer Bacon as well as Sens. James Coleman and Tony Exum.

We’re excited to see this pair of bills pass and help Colorado homeowners stay in their homes!

HB24-1438: Implement Prescription Drug Affordability Programs

Last year, we worked with legislative sponsors to pass HB23-1002, capping the price of an EpiPen 2-pack at $60, ensuring everyone could afford this life-saving medicine. Unfortunately, large pharmaceutical companies chose not to follow the law and maintained extractive prices in Colorado.

In direct response to this flagrant unwillingness to follow the law,Reps. Javier Mabrey & Iman Jodeh, as well as Sen. Dylan Roberts sponsored HB24-1438, increasing penalties for noncompliance and clarifying reimbursement pathways. The bill passed and was signed into law in early June. This new law will hold national pharmaceutical companies accountable and help prevent EpiPen shortages and unnecessary financial pressure on local pharmacies.

HB24-1007: Prohibit Residential Occupancy Limits

HB24-1007, sponsored by Reps. Manny Rutinel and Javier Mabrey, along with Sens. Tony Exum and Julie Gonzales, prohibits local governments from enacting or enforcing residential occupancy limits. This governor signed this bill into law in April, and we’re excited to see how it will help make housing more affordable for Colorado residents moving forward. 

HB24-1286: Equal Justice Fund Authority

The Equal Justice Fund bill, sponsored by Reps. Junie Joseph and Mandy Lindsay, as well as Sens. Dylan Roberts and Kevin Priola, addresses pervasive inequitable access to our justice system, where people who can’t afford an attorney must face landlords and debt collectors on their own. The Equal Justice Fund would reduce the Colorado justice gap by creating a stable fund to support civil legal aid organizations representing Coloradans on issues like domestic violence, elder rights, debt collection, and homelessness around Colorado. HB24-1386 passed both chambers of the legislature, and Governor Polis signed the bill into law in early June.

CEDP Supported Bills

In addition to our 2024 priority bills, CEDP’s policy team contributed to, engaged in, and endorsed many other policy efforts to advance housing and economic justice for Coloradans.

Land Use Bills

CEDP advocated and worked closely with bill proponents and sponsors to ensure that the Colorado Legislature’s efforts to reform land use and zoning included specific and targeted housing affordability and displacement mitigation strategies. This will help ensure that as Colorado grows, our clients and their communities will not be forced from their homes and communities to make way for these new investments.

HB24-1313: Transit-Oriented Communities

Concerning measures to increase the affordability of housing in transit-oriented communities, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.

SB24-174: Regional Planning

Concerning state support for sustainable affordable housing, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.

HB24-1152: Accessory Dwelling Units

Concerning increasing the number of accessory dwelling units, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.

Tenant / Family Benefits

HB24-1288: Earned Income Tax Credit Data Sharing

Concerning means of increasing the number of claims for certain income tax credits that support children, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.

HB24-1311: Family Affordability Tax Credit

Concerning the creation of a family affordability tax credit, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.

Consumer Protection

HB24-1148: Amending Terms of Consumer Lending Laws

Concerning a more inclusive calculation of the finance charge applicable to certain consumer lending transactions, and, in connection therewith, requiring a more accurate disclosure of the cost of credit for certain loans.

HB24-1014: Deceptive Trade Practice Significant Impact Standard

Concerning the elimination of a judicially created requirement that a significant number of consumers be harmed before remedies may be available under the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act.”

Better Information and Data

SB24-064 Eviction Data Collection

Concerning requiring the judicial department to make residential eviction-related information available to the public, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.

SB24-053: Racial Equity Study

Concerning an evaluation of racial equity for Black Coloradans.

CEDP Endorsed Bills

HB24-1099: Filing Fees for Eviction Answers

Concerning procedural requirements in evictions, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting certain fees for a defendant, directing courts to serve certain documents on a defendant’s behalf, and making an appropriation.

HB24-1322: Medicaid Coverage Housing & Nutrition Services

Concerning the department of health care policy and financing conducting a feasibility study to determine whether to seek federal authorization to provide services that address medicaid members’ health-related social needs, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.

Past Legislative Accomplishments

CEDP was founded as a direct response to the economic instability and housing insecurity brought on by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. In those early days, we were primarily a community organizing effort, and we rallied around advocating for an eviction moratorium to keep Coloradans housed amidst the public health emergency. This organizing work afforded us the opportunity to hear directly from clients about the systemic challenges they faced. 

During the 2021 Colorado state legislative session, we drafted and led the campaign to pass SB21-173 drawing directly from what we’d learned from our clients, many of whom faced an uphill battle to remain in their homes. Dubbed the Tenants’ Bill of Rights, the bill codified some important renter’s protections into Colorado state law, which has historically been heavily weighted in favor of landlords, especially when it came to going to court for an eviction.  

We worked in close partnership with community organizations and nonprofits, ultimately earning more than 50 endorsements. Dozens of our clients showed up to testify in support of the bill’s passage as it worked its way through the legislature, in some cases staying late into the night to ensure their stories were heard by lawmakers. 

During the 2022 legislative session, we once again focused on client priorities, this time working to root out predatory residential towing and address abuse in Colorado’s mobile home parks. We helped lead the charge on HB22-1287, which strengthened Colorado’s Mobile Home Park Act and provided new protections to prevent displacement and predatory practices committed by mobile home park owners.

The 2022 session also saw CEDP leading the effort to pass the Towing Bill of Rights, HB22-1314. This legislation came on the heels of our clients’ stories of being unjustly towed from their apartment complex for dubious reasons, as well as our own research into the non-consensual towing industry. We had too many clients facing eviction because they had to spend their rent money to get their car back. HB22-1314 limits the circumstances in which a towing company can remove a vehicle from a residential property in Colorado, caps how much someone must pay to retrieve their vehicle from a tow lot, and provides a number of other consumer protections to safeguard against a historically predatory industry.

During the 2023 legislative session, CEDP championed affordability for Coloradans with food allergies and severe asthma through HB23-1002: Epinephrine Auto-injectors. Before the passage of this bill, EpiPen two-packs cost $690 dollars – hundreds more than they cost to make. This meant that too many of our clients were facing the impossible decision of paying for this life-saving medication or making rent. Now that HB23-1002 is in effect, thousands of Colorado families will be able to access EpiPens at a fraction of what they cost prior – $60 for a two-pack. With the addition of HB24-1438, which passed in 2024, even more Coloradans will be able to access affordable EpiPens and BigPharma will be held accountable for following the law.