HB19-1170 (Jackson & Weissman/Williams & Bridges) Residential Tenants Health and Safety Act
This bill would strengthen the warranty of habitability in Colorado law to ensure that all Colorado families have access to a safe, healthy place to live. The bill would add conditions such as the lack of a functioning refrigerator, range, or oven, to the list of uninhabitable conditions if the landlord provides any of these appliances pursuant to the rental agreement, and would simplify the process for a tenant to request and receive repairs of unhealthy or unsafe conditions.
The Children’s Campaign supports this bill. Substandard housing impacts children’s health, development, and academic achievement. It was found to contribute to developmental delays in young children by the age of two, and found to contribute to poor health for children at the age of six. Among several housing-related conditions studied, poor housing quality – such as leaking roofs, broken windows, rodents, nonfunctioning heaters or stoves, exposed wiring, or unsafe or unclean environments – was found to be the most consistent and strongest predictor of emotional and behavioral problems in low-income children and youth. Adolescents in poorer-quality homes showed lower reading and math skills based on standardized tests, even after adjusting for parenting and other factors. Housing quality affects the health of mothers, and a study found that poor housing quality is associated with an increase in maternal depression. Housing conditions like indoor allergens and dampness contribute to the development and exacerbation of respiratory conditions like asthma, which is the most common chronic disease among children. Families with fewer financial resources, due to systemic barriers to economic security for some families, are most likely to experience poor housing quality and often face the most barriers to remedying unsafe or unhealthy conditions in their homes.
Passed the Senate Local Government Committee on a bipartisan vote of 4-1 and now heads to the Senate floor for a vote.
February 22, 2019
Passed the House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee on a vote of 6-2 and now heads to the House floor for debate.