What They’re Watching: Rep. Susan Lontine

Rep. Susan Lontine represents Colorado’s House District 1 and is the Chair of the House Health & Insurance Committee in the state legislature. Lontine also serves on the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss housing and the social determinants of health.

 

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“I’m working on some issues with housing as a focus of the social determinants – it’s hard to have good health if you don’t have a roof over your head. And Denver, like many other places across the nation, are struggling with affordable housing, and the state as a whole.

In Colorado we have a prohibition against rent control — I’m not touching that. But we had a court case decided some years ago — it’s pretty famous in these parts — called Telluride. The city of Telluride was trying to build affordable housing for the workforce, and the developer involved in that sued the city. It went through the state Supreme Court and the Telluride decision has been used as a reason why our counties and municipalities have not been able to require that our developers have inclusionary housing, a percentage of that in their mix. We did pass a bill a couple of years ago that allowed them to do something voluntarily, but you can imagine how voluntarily they’ve been willing to do that. So, what I’m looking to do is just trying to address that narrow provision in the Telluride decision to say that inclusionary housing is not rent control, so that cities and counties can have that tool in their toolbox to start going to developers and through the permitting process so you have to put in a percentage of this development as affordable housing.”