Colorado is one signature away from providing housing benefits to residents regardless of immigration status — a first-of-its-kind policy in the U.S., according to state officials.
The Senate followed in the House’s footsteps on Tuesday, giving final passage to a bill that would affect the roughly 180,000 people estimated to be living in Colorado without authorization.
Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs, which administers housing assistance programs and requested that lawmakers bring this bill, believes the state will be the first in the nation to allow people “to apply for, and receive, state-funded public housing assistance regardless of immigration status,” spokesman Brett McPherson said.
“We have been dreaming of a moment like this for well over a decade,” said Victor Galvan, political field director for the Colorado-based organization United for a New Economy. “This means that people will be able to plan for emergencies, work with direct service providers at the county, state and city level to be able to plan for moments in which they lose a job and have dug so far into their savings that they can’t afford rent, moments when catastrophe hits and they have nowhere else to go but to the state or the city or county for support.
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