Hot Sheet

Key biz group dissects steps taken toward construction-litigation reform

Author: Dan Njegomir - June 19, 2017 - Updated: June 19, 2017

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(Photo courtesy Habitat For Humanity Metro Denver)

The state’s chamber of commerce and statewide voice of Colorado Business, the Colorado Association of of Commerce and Industry, offers a worthy complement to ColoradoPolitics.com’s own news coverage of legislative and court actions to rein in the litigation that is believed to have constricted the state’s housing stock.

As our Joey Bunch pointed out in a particularly insightful “Insights” column the other day, heralded legislation passed in the 2017 session, as well as a key ruling earlier this month by the Colorado Supreme Court, hold the promise of encouraging Colorado builders to get back in the game with the construction of more affordable condos — but there are no guarantees.

The basic calculus of those who have been pushing for reform for years is that by reducing the likelihood of lawsuits by homeowners associations against builders over construction defects — routing the parties instead toward less costly arbitration to fix flaws — builders’ insurance premiums will fall. That is supposed to coax the builders back into the market for new condos and townhomes that appeal to first-time buyers and those of modest means.

All of which could mean a badly needed infusion of affordable housing after years of soaring real estate prices. So, will it actually work out that way?

A lot of dots have to be connected for that to happen, and CACI’s latest Capitol Report newsletter seems to acknowledge as much:

The effect of HB-1279 and the Court’s ruling on the construction of new condos will take time to determine.

First, however, will insurers reduce policy premiums enough to persuade developers that it is worth taking the risk to build condos again?

Whether or not developers then convert existing apartments to condos or planned apartment projects to condo projects or launch new condo projects will be the intense focus of public officials at state and local government levels, the business community and prospective homeowners.

CACI and the rest of us will be watching.

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is a blogger and opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.


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