March 16, 2021
Dear Honorable Members of the Colorado State Legislature,
Together Colorado is a nonpartisan, multi-racial and multi-faith statewide organization working to place human dignity at the center of public life in Colorado. We are writing this letter to you to express our unequivocal support for SB21-173 (Rights Related to Residential Rental Agreements), HB21-1117 (Local Government Authority Promote Affordable Housing Units), maintaining, or increasing, funding for the Eviction Legal Defense Fund, renewing our statewide eviction moratorium, and extending our statewide moratorium on late rent fees.
One in four Colorado renters spend more than 50% of their income on housing. This financial burden is exacerbated by unregulated late rent fees and can lead to a cycle of debt and potential eviction. In facing eviction, tenants encounter an intimidating court system that is difficult to navigate and imposes additional financial burdens.
We support HB21-1117 (Rights Related to Residential Rental Agreements) to give local governments the tools to create local solutions that meet their affordable housing needs.
We support SB21-173 (Local Government Authority Promote Affordable Housing Units) to:
- Create a reasonable statutory limit on the amount and timing of late rent fees
- Require transparency about late fee charges and timing in a lease
- Prohibit a tenant from being evicted solely for owing late fees
- Allow tenants more opportunities to pay rent during the eviction process
- Eliminate bond requirements so tenants are not priced out of court
- Establish a financial penalty for landlords who illegally lockout their tenants
We support funding for the Eviction Legal Defense Fund to provide legal support to those who need it when they are facing eviction. Lack of legal support contributes to cycles of poverty throughout our state.
We support renewing our statewide eviction moratorium and extending our statewide moratorium on late rent fees.
All faith traditions urge us to care for each other, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or how much is in our wallet. Right now, many individuals and families are struggling to simply keep a roof over their heads. When we as a people of faith and good conscience join together, we can make the way for those in need to share in the blessings of a safe and stable home.
As clergy and faith leaders in your communities, we urge you to prioritize housing security and affordability during this legislative session. Through your work, we can ensure that all Coloradans have a place to call home.
Thank you for your public service and leadership.
Signed by 158 Colorado clergy and faith leaders. To view the signers, see the PDF below.
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