Boulder voters will see a question in November about whether to increase the city’s occupancy limit

By: - June 18, 2021 12:42 pm

A “for rent” sign outside of a small housing complex in Denver on July 14, 2020. (Moe Clark/Colorado Newsline)

A citizen-led initiative in Boulder that seeks to increase the number of people allowed to live under one roof has received the necessary signatures to appear on the November 2021 ballot.

Bedrooms Are For People, a grassroots campaign led by Boulder residents, solicited the more than 3,500 digital signatures needed to legally qualify for citizen vote. The campaign is the first in the nation to get approval via an online petitioning system, according to their press release. 

The group received over 5,000 signatures in 2020 on paper petitions but was deemed ineligible for the 2020 ballot after receiving inaccurate information from Boulder’s city attorney.

“Sometimes, when our representatives don’t have the political will to do what is right, progress must be led by the people,” said Chelsea Castellano, who helped lead the citizen-led efforts.

Current law prohibits more than three unrelated people from living together in most homes throughout the city, regardless of how many rooms are in the house. The exclusionary zoning policy has led to residents who are trying to live within their means by sharing housing with multiple roommates to be forced out of their housing. 

The proposed Bedrooms Are For People Act would change what the fair housing advocates consider “archaic and discriminatory laws” by allowing the number of people residing in the home to be equal to the number of bedrooms, plus one additional person.

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Moe Clark
Moe Clark

Moe Clark is a freelance journalist and former Colorado Newsline reporter who covered criminal justice, housing, homelessness and other social issues.