In response to the Colorado State House introducing bill HB23-1115, which would allow municipalities to enact rent control to the detriment of their communities, Drew Hamrick, general counsel and senior VP of government affairs, of the Colorado Apartment Association issued the following statement:
Everyone in Colorado is deeply concerned about a shortage of attainable housing throughout the state. While perhaps well-intentioned, allowing cities to enact rent control will only cause housing to cost more and be less available, compounding the problem instead of solving it. Rent control has failed everywhere it’s been tried.
Rent Control doesn't work because it has the unintended consequence of removing the financial incentive to create new housing units, to improve existing housing units, and it restricts resident mobility. The result is always less available housing and higher prices.
Colorado’s prohibition against local governments enacting rent control ordinances for more than 40 years is both a recognition of the damage rent control can do to available housing, and, also, an understanding that one local government’s housing policy can negatively impact neighboring communities. If Denver enacts rent control and builders decrease new housing units in Denver because of it, the cost of housing in all the surrounding municipalities will be driven up because of it. People in Aurora and Westminster will end up paying more for housing because their neighbor artificially reduced supply with the rent control ordinance.
Colorado needs to focus on policies that encourage the creation of more housing units. Multifamily units are a particularly useful means of dealing with our housing shortage because they are more energy-efficient, require less land, are less expensive and allow people to live closer to where they want to live and therefore drive less.