Colorado law that bans housing discrimination based on source of income now in effect

By: - January 4, 2021 9:50 am

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

A new Colorado law ensures that renters have access to housing regardless of the person’s source of income. 

The new state law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, requires landlords to accept rental payments from any source of income, including from housing assistance programs, disability or unemployment insurance, veterans’ benefits, and other government subsidies.

“People should not be barred from an apartment they can afford based on what type of legal income that (they) have for rent,” said Tiffani Lennon, executive director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, in a written statement.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Leslie Herod, a Denver Democrat, Rep. Dominique Jackson, an Aurora Democrat, and Sen. Rhonda Fields, also an Aurora Democrat.

During the bill signing ceremony on July 14, Gov. Jared Polis said that due to the sharp economic downturn spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, many more Coloradans are now relying on federal and local rental subsidies to remain in their housing situations. “We have to make sure that those families that rely on those aren’t turned away because of the source of their income,” he said.

“We have seen a spike of people experiencing homelessness due to a perfect storm of already inflated housing prices in Colorado in combination with the pandemic that has hit the working class hardest,” said Cathy Alderman, vice president of communication and public policy for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, in a statement. “HB20-1332 will help to eliminate one of the greatest barriers to housing which couldn’t come at a more pertinent time.”

Coloradans can file a report with the Colorado Civil Rights Division if they believe they have been denied housing due to their source of income.

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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.