Veteran Rocky Mountain News political writer Peter Blake, who now has a weekly column for Complete Colorado, just last week reminded us that our state’s left wing politicos want to control more than just how you bag your groceries, get to work, dispose of your trash, play in the park, power your house, protect your family, and go about other routine tasks. They also still cannot resist manipulating the housing market, with complicated layers of rules that have adversely affected how housing is built and sold in Denver.
Between the so-called “Inclusionary Housing Ordinance,” a rule that requires developers to set aside a certain amount of new build multifamily units for below market prices, and the state’s notorious construction defects laws, which make the risk of building condos for sale almost untenable for developers, government regulations have dictated the development of new housing in core Denver for a long time.
As a reasonable person might expect, the unintended consequences of these ill-conceived rules have become manifest in numerous damaging ways. As for the the low income housing set-asides, the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance has resulted in the creation of exactly 16 “affordable” units in the past five years. It turns out that developers would rather pay a fine, which effectively increases the costs of all other units in the building, than include the “affordable” units.
The construction defects law, which Democrats at the state capitol have been defending for years now, has driven many developers to build apartments for rental instead of condos for sale, thus artificially disturbing the balance of supply and demand for housing in Denver.
Blake’s article went on to quote Denver City Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz, who with Councilman Charlie Brown, are the only two members of the City Council who are steadfast against these anti-consumer laws: “It’s very hard to fix something that shouldn’t be in existence at all…it essentially permitted government extortion of developers.”
In an interesting post-script to Blake’s story, former City Councilwoman Susan Barnes-Gelt, who sponsored the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance in 2002, commented through Facebook that “with the advantage of time and distance” she now agrees with Faatz and Brown, and is also against perpetuating this flawed law.
Is there anything in which the left will not insert itself? Is there anything left?