Your membership supports a powerful government affairs program, which successfully advocates on key issues that promote homeownership, protect property rights and prevent excessive regulations on homeowners and buyers. Below you’ll find an overview of some of the many issues we’re tackling on your behalf.
DMAR's Advocacy Issues
Defeating Denver’s Right to Survive Initiative (300) and Supporting Real Solutions to End Homelessness
DMAR was the single largest contributor to the opposition campaign to defeat initiative 300 on Denver’s May 2019 ballot. If passed, initiative 300 would have allowed any individual to occupy public space in perpetuity so long as that person was not committing a crime. DMAR opposed 300 given its impact on property rights and its lack of additional funding for housing and mental health services. Without a strong opposition campaign, 300 would likely have passed given that initial polling was well above 50 percent in favor. When all was said and done, 83 percent of Denverites voted against 300. DMAR continues to work closely with other stakeholders on finding additional solutions to address affordability and homelessness.
Fighting Limited Growth/Anti-Housing Measures
DMAR was the single largest contributor to the opposition campaign to defeat initiative 200 on Lakewood’s July 2019 ballot. Initiative 200, which ultimately passed by a narrow margin, limits annual residential development to one percent of the City’s existing housing stock. Simply put, DMAR will always oppose measures which limit housing opportunities for families, first-time buyers and empty nesters. Artificially limiting housing stock while increasing prices runs counter to DMAR’s mission to foster homeownership opportunities for all. Although we were unable to defeat the initiative, our campaign efforts made it an extremely close race as initial polling had the measure passing with over 60 percent support. We needed to narrow this margin of victory to deter similar misguided measures in other Metro Area municipalities.
Stopping Owner-Opposed Landmark Designations
DMAR took positions against three recent owner-opposed landmark designation applications in Denver including the Tom’s Diner case at Colfax and Pearl Street. Our lobbying efforts helped protect the property rights of these owners and kept the applications from moving forward to Denver City Council for a formal vote. Additionally, DMAR has and will continue to advocate for additional property rights protections. More specifically, we’re encouraging Denver City Council members to support legislation that would require a higher bar (at least nine votes instead of seven) when designating a property against the owner’s consent.
Improving and Fixing Denver’s Affordable Housing Program
In early 2019, DMAR sent a letter to the City and County of Denver requesting the creation of a stakeholder group to discuss and improve the City’s existing affordable housing programs. Denver heeded this request, created the stakeholder group and provided DMAR with four seats. DMAR’s representatives attended more than 10 stakeholder meetings and provided valuable feedback on how the City can improve its affordable housing programs. While the changes have not been finalized, the City will likely increase the front end ratio used to qualify buyers and process affordable housing contracts in a maximum of 45 days. These changes will increase the buyer pool for affordable homes and provide buyers, sellers and agents with greater certainty during the buying process.
The Passage of Local Construction Defects Ordinances
DMAR’s Government Affairs Committee and staff played an integral role in promoting and successfully pushing the passage of local construction defects ordinances in Arvada, Commerce City, Denver, Lakewood and Wheat Ridge. These ordinances include important provisions that give property owners the information and choice they deserve when their unit may be impacted by a class-action, construction defects lawsuit.