CU-hosted affordable housing debate caters to developers

CU-hosted affordable housing debate caters to developers

The University of Colorado at Denver is hosting a panel on affordable housing in Colorado, this Friday, December 4th. The description of the panel states:

How can we build more affordable housing for these different sectors? Will recent efforts in Denver make a difference? Is the “construction defect” mandate a significant challenge for creating affordable condominium options?

This panel will discuss the federal, state and local policies needed to address affordable housing issues in metro Denver and across Colorado.

However, ONLY pro-construction defects reform advocates were invited to speak on the panel. Not a single affordable housing advocate whom also advocates for developer accountability has been invited to this panel. When we noticed the undisputedly biased panel, we tried calling several times and sent them a letter asking for a voice to balance the panel and present all sides of the debate. All of our efforts went unreturned. Needless to say, we are disappointed that a public university is refusing to hear all sides of a debate – especially a debate on an issue that may affect their students and neighbors.

Affordable housing is important an issue here in Colorado, but there are solutions other than allowing shoddy developers to skirt liability on their products and possibly cut corners. People in search of affordable housing deserve the respect to know that it’s still well built housing. Below is the letter we sent the University of Colorado at Denver asking them to allow multiple viewpoints on the panel; as we stated above, they have yet to respond:

November 23, 2015

To Whom it may concern,

As the chair of Build Our Homes Right, I was shocked to see the panel chosen for the University of Colorado-Denver School of Public Affairs’ December 4th debate on affordable housing with an emphasis on Denver’s construction defect ordinance. The invited guests are all proponents of the ordinance which would strip away the rights of homeowners – hardly an unbiased collection of experts on this issue.

Build Our Homes Right is made up of homeowners and legal advocates who have lived the nightmare of trying to hold developers and builders responsible for dangerous and expensive condo defects. We are victims of an industry that is seeking to maximize profits at the expense of our legal rights to hold them accountable when they sell shoddily built homes. And we’re frustrated that the Buechner Institute would stack a public panel discussion in this way.

I respectfully request that you equalize the panel by including representatives from Build Our Homes Right. We would hope you would include a researcher who has a different take on the link between construction defects and the rate of condo development, a legislator who has opposed the policy at the state level and a homeowner who has suffered from construction defects. We would be happy to organize these representatives for you – or provide the names and contact numbers of good candidates. I am available that day and would be more than happy to participate as a panelist. Please contact Elliot Williams at XXX-XXX-XXXX or [email] to let us know how you would like to handle this request. He will be in touch with me and we will coordinate our work and outreach to follow up on this matter.

Thank you for considering my request, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Harris

If you are as upset as we are at this biased panel – call the general events office at 303.315.2228 and request an equal debate. Or, email them at spa.events@ucdenver.edu.


Build Our Homes Right