ASPCA Commends Colorado Lawmakers for Passing Bill to Increase Access to Pet-Friendly HousingH.B. 23-1068 will remove barriers to pets in housing, making it easier for Colorado pet owners to find and afford housing with their pets
DENVER, Colo. – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends Colorado lawmakers for passing H.B. 23-1068, which will create more equitable access to pet-friendly housing in Colorado. Sponsored by Rep. Alex Valdez (D-Denver) and Sens. Faith Winter (D-Westminster) and Sonya Jaquez Lewis (D-Longmont), this bill now heads to Gov. Jared Polis for his consideration.
As housing instability has increased, the shortage of pet-friendly housing is regularly cited as a reason why people relinquish their pet to an animal shelter. H.B. 23-1068 will improve Colorado’s housing crisis by addressing several of the underlying housing-related issues that cause people to make the heartbreaking decision to give up their pet.
“Pets are part of the family, and no pet owner should be forced to make the impossible choice between keeping a roof over their head or relinquishing their pet to a shelter,” said Ali Mickelson, director of state legislation for the ASPCA, Mountain West region. “H.B. 23-1068 will remove barriers to pets in housing to help keep people and pets together. We thank Representative Valdez and Senators Winter and Jaquez Lewis for championing this legislation, and urge Governor Polis to sign this lifesaving bill into law.”
"Nearly half of Coloradans have a pet, and I am so excited to pass legislation that provides tangible results and relief to renters,” said Rep. Valdez. “By capping unaffordable pet deposits and pet rent, we can help families overcome barriers to finding housing and staying together."
"As Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, it is abundantly clear that Colorado families are struggling to find and afford housing. The difficulties compound for the thousands of people who have pets,” said Sen. Jacquez Lewis. “Once this bill is signed into law, we will be able to keep so many more of these two- and four-legged families together. As an animal lover and an affordable housing advocate, I am so proud of how this legislation will help Coloradans find and afford housing that works for them and their pets."
Families face huge barriers when searching for a home with their pets. In addition to the straightforward “No Pets!” rule, they often encounter policies that limit how many pets they can own or that discriminate against a dog’s breed or weight. When a family finally finds housing that allows pets, it can come with costly pet deposits and additional monthly “pet rent.” These restrictions have a devastating impact on pet owners, especially renters and lower income households.
If signed into law, H.B. 23-1068 will remove barriers to pets in housing by:
- Limiting the amount a landlord can charge for pet deposits and "pet rent."
- Prohibiting insurance companies from using a dog’s breed to determine coverage and cost of property insurance policies.
- Requiring landlords to contact their local animal control for the care of a pet if a pet is left alone during the process of eviction.
For more information about the ASPCA’s efforts to increase access to pet-friendly housing, or to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.