By Mika Alexander, Policy Fellow

Colorado has an affordable housing crisis — and the heaviest burden falls on renters. In 2023, eviction filings in Colorado were at their highest level since 2008.1 Renters lack robust protections against retaliatory or discriminatory evictions. Additionally, at the end of every lease, renters must manage the uncertainty of the lease renewal process, further exacerbating housing insecurity and homelessness.

To address this, we proudly supported proposed legislation (HB23-1171) last year which would have required landlords to have “just cause” to evict a renter2 While this bill failed to pass, we were determined to strengthen tenants’ rights in the 2024 legislative session. Alongside our partners, we pushed to pass a new version of this bill, HB24-1098. This bill explicitly prohibits landlords from evicting a tenant in the middle of a lease and strengthens existing tenant protection laws. This bill also requires landlords to have cause for not offering3 Governor Polis then signed the bill into law in April.

Community-led coalition work was critical to the success of this legislation. The Colorado Homes for All Coalition and the Colorado Economic Defense Project played a pivotal role in passing Colorado’s first “for-cause evictions” bill.4 These two groups spent hours building relationships with legislators, while strategically lobbying for their support.

While the passage of this bill represents a major step forward, the Colorado legislature and the governor must continue to prioritize policies that strengthen the rights of renters and meaningfully address our state’s affordable housing crisis.

1 Harris, Kyle, “Denver County Court saw higher eviction filings last month than any other January on record,” Denverite, last updated February 6, 2024. https://denverite.com/2024/02/06/denver-eviction-cases-filings-january/#...

2 HB23-1171, 73rd General Assembly, (2023), https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb23-1171

3 HB24-1098, 74th General Assembly, (2024), https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb24-1098

4 Community Economic Defense Project and The Colorado Homes for All Coalition, For Cause Evictions Fact Sheet, 2024, https://cedproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/FCE-One-Pager.pdf