I am running for office to be your voice in Congress and will work with urgency to address the housing crisis we are experiencing in the 1st Congressional District.
Rapid population growth and development are changing our communities everyday. Gentrification in Denver has displaced people of color at one of the fastest rates in the country. Hard-working families, who earn lower wages, can’t afford to live in the neighborhoods in which they grew up. Homelessness is on the rise. And it is not acceptable that the most vulnerable among us have limited access to transitional housing.
I served in the Colorado Legislature from 2011 to 2019, and led the House as Speaker in my last term. Tackling the housing crisis was a priority for me, because people in our communities told me how it was affecting their lives. We had scarce resources in the state budget. But we took on the housing crisis, and got results—redeveloping and building more affordable housing, promoting first-time home buyer incentives and creating more options for the homeless.
In Washington, I will fight for bold housing policies, because Congress can and must do more to promote housing access and affordability. During this campaign, I want to hear your ideas for how you think we can tackle the housing crisis. That’s because progress happens when we listen to each other, act together and work together.
As your congresswoman, I will work to:
- Expand the federal affordable housing tax credit (“LIHTC”) which encourages private investment to develop affordable rental housing for more hard working families.
- Increase the budget for Section 8 vouchers used to help families pay for housing.
- Provide financial tools so more people have access to housing based on the high cost of living in neighborhoods they work or grew up in.
- Build upon my work in the Colorado House to cultivate creative districts, promote the arts and preserve cultures to ensure we have inclusive communities.
- Support the bipartisan Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 to expand and strengthen the Affordable Housing Tax Credit to produce more units of affordable housing and better serve a number of at-risk and underserved communities.
- Support increasing housing options through such programs as Choice Neighborhoods, a competitive grant program providing flexible resources for local leaders to help transform high-poverty, distressed neighborhoods into mixed-income neighborhoods with affordable housing, safe streets and good schools.
- Increase the federal Continuum of Care Program. Among other things, it promotes community-wide commitment to ending homelessness, and provides funding for efforts by nonprofits and state and local governments to re-house homeless individuals and families.
- Expand fair housing legislation to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ residents and discrimination based on veterans’ status and income. And I will work to protect tenants’ rights.
- End veterans’ homelessness by increasing housing choice vouchers for veterans and veterans’ programs such as:
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families. This program awards grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives to provide supportive services to low-income veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing.
- The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’ VASH Program. It combines HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher for rental assistance for homeless veterans and their families with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs at its medical centers and in the community.
- Prioritize the federal Opportunity Zone program, designed to incentivize long-term capital investment to disadvantaged urban and rural communities nationwide. And I will work to add additional protections to the program to ensure it does not lead to gentrification and displacement of historically marginalized communities. There should be incentives to address needs in the community like affordable childcare and accessible transportation.
- Expand the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration to prevent the annual loss of affordable housing units, which displaces people, often as a result of gentrification.
- Reinvigorate the federal interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities to enhance coordinated funding for local transportation, housing and environmental projects. By promoting interagency and local partnerships, we also should be able to leverage investments from private sector partners into these projects.
- Identify surplus federal property in key areas of Colorado, and work with local jurisdictions to ensure those properties are entitled for affordable housing preference.
I know how the lack of affordable housing hurts people and hurts our communities. I have a track record of working in Colorado to fix the problem.. And I will fight in Congress for bold solutions to the housing crisis.
Affordable Housing Tax Credits
Fort Lyon Homeless Initiative
Tax free savings account for first time homebuyers
Construction defects reform