HOUSING & TRANSPORTATION
Colorado is growing rapidly with our statewide population projected to double from 5.7 million people in 2019 to 10 million by 2050. Poorly-planned growth will result in more traffic and sprawl and a reduced quality of life in our communities, so we need to better manage that growth. Access to affordable housing and transportation are key to ensuring equitable communities across our state.
The cost of housing for both homeowners and renters is increasing across the state and the Denver metro region is becoming increasingly unaffordable as more people pay a disproportionate share of their income on housing costs. As the market becomes increasingly unaffordable, many look to vouchers for assistance. Leslie fought to ensure folks aren't held back from utilizing these services by outlawing landlord’s abilities to refuse tenants based on their source of income [HB21-1332]. She has also advocated for pro-tenant legislation including her bill to protect tenants from bedbugs [HB19-1328].
Leslie will continue working with housing advocates to combat housing insecurity across the board.
More Transportation Options.
Rapid population growth has overwhelmed Colorado streets and highways. A 2018 report on traffic congestion in Denver estimated that households experienced 60 hours of vehicle travel delay each year, which has an economic impact of more than $1.5 billion. These numbers are predicted to increase significantly by 2040 with households experiencing up to 97 hours of traffic a year, $2.9 billion in impact. Additionally, increased congestion increases the need for road repairs.
State highways that are also main streets in our communities, such as Colfax Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, are not going to be widened, so we need to prioritize other improvements. To address these issues all over the state, Leslie allocated $30 million to fund the Safer Main Streets program [SB21-110] which provides funds to Municipalities to increase transportation safety by fixing roads, sidewalks, and/or trails, repurposing outdoor spaces, adapting transportation needs, and more.
Leslie believes that everyone should have access to safe, affordable, and consistent transportation. She will continue working with state and local departments to engage in effective local and regional planning for smart growth that will help reduce traffic and make our communities more livable, not less, in the coming years.