Oppose Measure 2F: it’s a step backward for affordable housing options

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Your next ballot will arrive soon with more than a dozen measures for you to decide on, some with hidden consequences to our city and residents.

Three of these measures — 2F, 303 and 304 were funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars in dark money. Measure 2F would limit affordable housing options for Denver residents, right when we need them the most by repealing a Council ordinance that was supported by 11 councilmembers and more than 50 organizations including Registered Neighborhood Organizations (RNOs) like Capitol Hill United Neighbors. Input from more than 1,000 residents over three years helped to shape the final legislation, including tighter limits requested by RNOs like West Washington Park that were adopted into the law.

The ordinance modernized outdated language and made our city more equitable for all residents. And it enabled people to share housing when they need it the most by increasing the number of non-family members who can live together from two to five. 2F would repeal these changes and make it illegal to have more than one roommate in three-quarters of our city so I’m urging voters to reject it.

Vote No on 2F because it would take away affordable housing options for working people like teachers, nurses, and grocery store clerks. Hardworking Denverites have struggled to pay their bills during the pandemic. With the high cost of living in Denver, our teachers often need to live with others to be able to afford to live in our neighborhoods. 2F would take that ability away from them at a time when we already have a teacher shortage.

Vote No on 2F, because this measure would make it harder to live in Denver than any other city in Colorado. Passing measure 2F would make Denver’s housing laws among the most restrictive in the state. Cities like Colorado Springs, Arvada, and Lakewood all allow people to have more than one roommate - and Denver should too.

Vote No on 2F, because it would take away tools the city needs to shelter and house those experiencing homelessness. Passing 2F would reduce the capacity of many existing homeless shelters, make it harder for those shelters to renovate to provide the mental health and housing counseling needed to resolve homelessness, and make it much more difficult and expensive to build new transitional housing. By taking away these housing options, unhoused Denver residents will have a harder time getting back on their feet if 2F passes.

As noted by the Denver Post Editorial Board when they supported the ordinance that 2F would take away, there is “considerable misinformation” being spread about this measure. I encourage voters to check any claims they hear at keepdenverhoused.com or the city’s own website, denvergov.org/groupliving “recent misconceptions.”

If we want to build back stronger, we need to ensure that we support affordable housing options for our community. The last thing we should be doing right now is reducing housing options in Denver, which is exactly what 2F would do.

Robin Kniech is an at-large member of Denver City Council. She can be reached at kniechatlarge@denvergov.org.

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