Denver wants to extend its housing-crisis help program

High density housing in downtown Denver. (EntropyWorkshop, iStock)

Sen. Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, has proposed an “Immigrant Tenant Protection Act” that would prevent landlords from using a renter’s immigration status against him or her.

As reported in Denverite, Gonzales’s bill, SB20-108, was prompted by a story she heard of an immigrant couple seeking to rent in Denver, only to be told to fill out a “Supplemental Rental Application for Non-U.S. Citizens.” The form claimed that its purpose was to allow landlords to verify prospective tenants are in the country legally and to enable landlords to cooperate with government officials in the “performance of their duties.”

Among its provisions, the bill prohibits landlords from requesting, demanding or collecting tenants’ immigration or citizenship status. It also would make it illegal to “disclose or threaten to disclose” such information to law enforcement.

Harassment, retaliation and refusal to rent to a person based on their immigration status would also be outlawed.

Gonzales told Denverite that she had not reached out to landlords’ groups while drafting her legislation. She would, she said, work with landlords and others as her bill makes its way through the legislature. 

Denver’s Residential Landlord Tenant Guide advises that “immigrant and undocumented families have the same tenant protections and rights” as any other renter. Those rights include protection from discrimination, and an advisement to landlords to provide “the same rental processes and protections throughout the entire tenancy” to tenants “regardless of immigration status.”

While the Colorado Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin, citizenship status discrimination is not among the prohibitions.

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