Capitol Connection – April 2, 2021
Government Affairs Update
Earlier this week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced its extension of the nationwide eviction moratorium through June 20, 2021. Under the terms of the CDC order, residents must declare that they have pursued all appropriate government assistance, met certain income and employment requirements and are using best efforts to make timely partial payments, among other qualifications.
This most recent announcement expands the order to include people “who are confirmed to have, who have been exposed to, or who might have been exposed to COVID-19 and take reasonable precautions to spread the disease.” Covered persons must now provide their housing provider with a copy of a signed declaration form stating that they meet the requirements to be a “covered person.”
As with previous CDC orders, property owners may still evict tenants due to criminal activity, damaging property or for violating other contractual obligations.
As a few other courts around the country have previously ruled, the first appellate court, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the CDC eviction moratorium order while upholding a ruling from the Western District of Tennessee which decided that the federal eviction moratorium is unlawful. Read decision here.
Ultimately, if there is difference in opinions in the Appellate courts then the Supreme Court has the option of taking the cases together to determine national law. CAR and NAR will watch to see if that does develop. Right now, there are not any 10th Circuit Court rulings that includes Colorado territory, so Colorado is still bound by the latest CDC order.
This week’s top real estate issues:
1. Report Tenant Rent Payment Information To Credit Agencies (HB21-1134)
House Bill 1134 creates a statewide pilot program that allows residents residing in properties selected by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) to opt in to have rent payments reported to consumer credit bureaus, and participants would be required to take financial literacy courses.
In Colorado a significant racial gap in homeownership rates exists. In 2018, 68% of homeowners were White compared to 37% of homes owned by Black households and 52% of homes owned by Hispanic households. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Blacks and Hispanics have higher rates of credit invisibility and unscorable credit records than Whites. This credit invisibility is a barrier to financial opportunity that has adverse effects lasting generations.
Everyone in Colorado deserves the opportunity to advance economically. HB21-1134 levels the playing field for populations of color and give renters opportunities to build their credit, in much the same way as homeowners build credit through the reporting of mortgage payments, so they can access homeownership.
LPC Position: Support
Bill Status: CAR, including members of CAR’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, testified in support of the bill yesterday where the bill passed out of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee 8-5.
This bill is a part of CAR’s Century of Opportunity Legislative Package >>> Learn more at ColoradoCenturyofOpportunity.com
2. Public Utilities Commission Modernize Electric Transmission Infrastructure (SB21-072)
Senate Bill 72 creates the Colorado Electric Transmission Authority with the intent to expand broadband access across the state. It also requires transmission utilities to join organized wholesale markets and expands the authority to install broadband facilities on an electric utility easement. The bill creates a 9-member board and authorizes the Authority to:
- issue electric transmission bonds that are exempt from taxation;
- identify and establish intrastate electric transmission corridors;
- coordinate with other entities to establish interstate electric transmission corridors in western states;
- exercise an extraordinary form of the power of eminent domain to acquire eligible facilities, except property or rights-of-way owned by a local government; and
- collect payments of reasonable rates, fees, interest, or other charges from persons using eligible facilities.
LPC Position: Amend
Bill Status: CAR is working on amendments in collaboration with the Colorado Bar Association that would limit the eminent domain section of the bill so that property owners are not subject to the extraordinary powerful version of eminent domain in the bill draft that would harm property rights, but narrow the definition of eminent domain powers.
3. Sunset Forest Health Advisory Council (SB21-136)
Senate Bill 136 continues the Forest Health Advisory Council for an additional five years as recommended by the Department of Regulatory Agencies’ sunset review. The Forest Health Advisory Council was established in 2016 to advise the State Forester. It is a 24-member committee housed in the Colorado State Forest Service within Colorado State University, and its members are appointed by the Governor and General Assembly leadership. In addition to advising the State Forester, the Council provides recommendations on legislation and facilitating collaboration on forestry.
Forests play a vital role to provide clean air, clean water, boost local economics, support outdoor recreation activities, and provide a home for Colorado’s wildlife. After the 2020 wildfire season and future wildfires yet to come, it is critical that forest health is priority. Colorado REALTORS® in partnership with the Colorado State Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Insurance Association, the National Fire Protection Association, and other like-minded fire prevention organizations continue to educate, spread awareness and provide access to resources directly to residents in local communities through Colorado Project Wildfire.
LPC Position: Support
Bill Status: The bill received unanimous support by the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday and passed the Senate Floor on the consent calendar.
4. Don’t Miss Out: REALTORS® Legislative Meetings (Virtual)
Although we will not be visiting our Nation’s Capital this year, this is a great opportunity for REALTORS® across the country to come together and learn about policies that impact our industry. The virtual conference is free for members to attend.
When: May 3-14
5. NAR’s 3rd Annual Policy Forum Kick-Off: Tipping the SCALE: How Alternative Data Promote or Impede Fair Lending Goals
Homeownership rates for Black and Latino Americans have lagged those of White Americans for decades. As access to mortgage credit is a key factor toward achieving homeownership, reviewing existing tools and identifying new credit valuation processes could unlock new opportunities to close that gap.
NAR commissioned new research that reviews three major types of alternative data that could be used to evaluate a consumer’s creditworthiness: credit proxies, banking data, and, non-financial personal data. Each form of alternative data is evaluated using a newly developed five-factor “SCALE” framework that incorporates important considerations in the data’s predictive power.
This virtual event, moderated by award-winning real estate journalist Michele Lerner, will feature a Q&A presentation on the research by authors, Vanessa G. Perry and Ann B. Schnare, followed by a panel of speakers discussing what others are doing to address and understand the racial homeownership gap and the broader environment related to access to credit, fair lending, and pandemic implications.
When: April 8 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Speakers, Research, & More Info: Click Here
LOOKING TO GET MORE INVOLVED WITH RPAC? LOOK NO FURTHER – JOIN OUR COUNCILS
Join our Participation or Major Investor Council to represent your local association and help achieve our RPAC fundraising goals for the year! What to expect if you join; Collaborating with other members on ways to increase RPAC participation and expand the Major Investor program, planning and promotion of upcoming RPAC events, and updates on NAR fundraising. Click the clicks below to register for either council, your participation directly leads to RPAC success.