Denver, CO
Partly Cloudy
5:31 am8:31 pm MDT
90°F / 63°F
86°F / 63°F
91°F / 64°F

Poll finds strong support for Colorado housing ideas backed by Democrats


by Sara Wilson, Colorado Newsline
January 29, 2024

Colorado voters across party lines say they support the policies that state lawmakers are prioritizing this session when it comes to increasing the state’s housing supply.

That is according to a recent poll, conducted by Keating Research on behalf of the left-leaning organization Centennial State Prosperity, that measured support for the three pillars of Democrats’ housing plan this year: enabling accessory dwelling units, incentivizing development around transit, and requiring local housing plans.

“This illuminating research confirmed the experiences of countless Colorado working families, small business owners, seniors, and young people across the state who simply can’t find housing options that are affordable,” Austin Blumenfeld, the executive director of Centennial State Prosperity, said in a statement. “Colorado now has the fifth highest housing costs in the country, and the reality is many people can’t afford a roof over their head, no matter how many hours they are working.”

The three policy ideas in the poll have not yet been introduced in the Legislature.

The poll was conducted among a representative sample of 1,277 registered Colorado voters from Jan. 7 to Jan. 14. It has a margin of error of 2.7%. Seventy-percent of the respondents were homeowners and 28% were renters. Half said their household made between $50,000 and $99,000 per year.

Unsurprisingly, voters are nearly unanimous in their opinion that housing costs are too high, with 95% of respondents saying the cost of renting or buying a home is either a major or minor problem. Seven in 10 said their local government is not doing enough to lower housing costs.

Nearly 80% of voters support a law to allow homeowners to build ADUs on their single-family zoned property, including 82% of Democrats and 71% of Republicans. It had even support, hovering around 78%, among urban, suburban and rural voters. It is an upzoning provision of last year’s failed land use bill that will come back this session for lawmakers to consider. The provision alone is less contentious than last year’s proposed sweeping reform to allow owners to build multiplexes on their single-family zoned land.

When asked about a law to require local governments to develop housing plans, 72% said they supported it. The housing plan would need to account for how much housing is needed and adopt specific policies to meet those goals.

A law to require local governments to allow more housing near bus stops, train stations and other transit corridors, and to give money to cities for those types of projects, earned the lowest support, at 68%, in the poll. Just half of Republicans said they would support the law. Three-quarters of voters in the Denver and Boulder urban areas said they would support it.

The poll did not ask about other housing policies introduced or set to be introduced this session, including one that would require landlords to have a specific reason to evict a tenant, one to prohibit maximum occupancy limits and one that would reform the state’s construction defects liability statute.

Democrats enjoy wide majorities in the Legislature. The 2024 session runs until early May.

Centennial State Prosperity has a history of donating to Democratic lawmakers and Democratic-aligned organizations, according to filings from the secretary of state’s office.

This story is republished from Colorado Newsline under a Creative Commons license. Read the original story.