On November 3, Colorado voters decided on several key issues related to affordable housing. One ballot measure in particular – Proposition EE – passed with support from Republicans, Democrats and Unaffiliated voters in all parts of Colorado – 46 of Colorado’s 64 counties.
Proposition EE not only ensures a brighter, healthier future for Colorado kids by funding public education, universal preschool, and vaping cessation and education programs, but also provides $35 million for affordable housing and eviction assistance by 2023. These funds will go toward housing development, including renovation or new home construction and rental assistance, and eviction legal assistance for low-income individuals. Additionally, at least $5 million will be invested in housing development in rural Colorado. This is all accomplished by incrementally increasing cigarette and tobacco product taxes and creating a new tax on nicotine products such as e-cigarettes.
As an organization working to address the systemic problems that are the root of poverty in Adams County, Maiker applauds the passage of Proposition EE. Studies show that tobacco tax increases are one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking and other tobacco use, especially among youth. Additionally, tobacco consumption can worsen poverty among users and their families since tobacco users are at much higher risk of falling ill and dying prematurely, depriving families of much-needed income, imposing additional costs for health care. We believe Colorado’s support of Proposition EE will help move individuals toward greater probability of achieving a thriving life through health, education and housing stability.
Maiker will continue to support the ongoing efforts of our partners, like the Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County, who were instrumental in the passage of Proposition EE.
“The passage of Proposition EE is a win for preschool kids who will benefit from a strong start to their education, working families for whom preschool will be more affordable and accessible, and public schools that will receive funding to blunt the impact of the COVID-19 recession,” said Lisa Jansen Thompson, executive director for the Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County. “It is also a win for housing access and stability, which will be improved by new state investments in affordable housing development and eviction defense.”
While Proposition EE is not a long-term housing funding solution, it is an opportunity for us to address Colorado’s daunting affordable housing crisis. We look forward to working in partnership with the Colorado Division of Housing to create housing opportunities for Adam County residents who face the greatest challenges to accessing affordable, safe, and secure homes.