Colorado lawmakers hope to find bipartisan solution to reform construction defect law

Issue a priority for the legislative session

DENVER -- Colorado lawmakers are starting the legislative session optimistic about reforming the state's construction defect law.

"This is not the only area in which we can find bipartisan solutions to a significant problem here in this state: the other is the problem of construction litigation reform and attainable housing," Senate President Kevin J. Grantham.

Prospective homebuyers know it's a challenge finding a house in the Denver metro area's competitive market. Newlyweds Yasmine Faied and Thomas Haldeman originally wanted to buy a condo downtown but they haven't had any luck finding a place.

"There’s not a lot out there, especially for lower budgets," said Haldeman.

Developers say the law is hampering their efforts to build more affordable housing for families and young professionals.

Zeppelin Development, known for projects like The Source and TAXI, would like to build condos on five acres of property in RiNo. Kyle Zeppelin argues the risk is too great, especially for homes at a lower price point.

"Oh it’s a huge problem. I mean it’s directly the barrier that’s getting in the way of us going forward. Nobody wants to do a project and have a significant chance of getting sued," said Zeppelin.

Opponents of reform argue consumers need protection for one of the biggest purchases of their lives.

"Years ago, Colorado officials passed a law that makes it nearly impossible to afford new condos, townhomes, and other multi-family housing units. We in this 71st General Assembly have inherited this problem – and we must solve it," said Grantham.

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