Gov. Jared Polis visits RFSD schools; discuss housing crisis with ACCC Tuesday
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis engaged with the Glenwood Springs community on Tuesday, underscoring at multiple stops his administration’s focus on education and economic growth. Colorado Proud School Meal Day celebrations at Sopris Elementary School and discussions on the Universal Pre-K program during a visit to the Riverview School marked the beginning of his visit while his afternoon dialogue with the Association of Colorado Chambers of Commerce (ACCC) at the Hotel Colorado encapsulated the crux of the ongoing discourse on the state’s future.
The governor acknowledged the first year of free preschool in Colorado, a policy aimed at alleviating the financial burden on families and contributing to workforce development.
“Many families have struggled with the high cost of child care, and preschool is part of that,” Polis said. “This is the first year of free preschool in Colorado, which obviously has positive workforce ramifications.”
However, the central focus of the governor’s address was the state’s formidable housing crisis.
“This represents an existential threat to our success,” Polis said, pointing out the private sector’s struggles caused by inadequate housing supply. Roaring Fork Valley businesses, both large and small, face an uphill battle maintaining operational efficiency amidst staffing challenges.
The governor emphasized actions already in motion to remedy this predicament. The signing of House Bill 1255 was a notable step, prohibiting cities across Colorado from enforcing growth caps. The initiative aims at accelerating housing development and diversifying the available options, especially for middle-income families.
“We especially need homes that are the least likely to be built. Homes in the 200s and 300s, quadplexes, and accessory dwelling units,” Polis said.
This blended approach toward housing underscores the administration’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and dynamic economic environment, he added.
As the governor engaged with the ACCC, a narrative of concerted action emerged regarding the cost of housing.
“It has got to change,” Polis said. “So we can have a future where the private sector can succeed and where we can have a strong workforce.”
As the high price of housing continues to be a topic of discussion in the state, Polis noted what needs to be done to reinforce affordable living.
“We know what we can do better,” Polis said. “We have simply got to expedite the approval process for building homes and building barriers for homes… We need homes that are the least likely to be built. Homes in the 200s and 300s, quadplexes, and accessory dwelling units.”
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