Bedrooms Are for People is a grassroots movement of Boulder residents who share a vision for a more just, diverse, and sustainable city. We are renters and homeowners, long-time activists and first-time volunteers, students and teachers, lifelong and new Boulder residents, writers and scientists, hikers and choristers. We live with roommates, in co-ops, in multigenerational households, alone, with children and with spouses. While our friends, loved ones, and we ourselves have found Boulder a difficult place to live because of its discriminatory occupancy laws, we're inspired by what happens when Boulder neighbors take care of each other. We're dedicated to helping Boulder reimagine itself as a more welcoming, affordable, and inclusive community.
Our Team of Volunteers
Professional Field: Sustainability
Skiing, Wildlife, Activism
Liberty and justice for all should be woven into the fabric of all of our laws. While Boulder's current occupancy limits infringe on those rights today, we have the power to change that, and we will.
Professional Field: Software Engineering
Urban Design, Bike Touring
I grew up in Boulder & have watched it become more exclusive & privileged over the past 50 years, as imposed policies have throttled opportunities for organic change & naturally affordable housing. The result is a city that has bigger bank accounts but is culturally, artistically, & demographically poorer. BAFP is a step towards reversing that impoverishment.
THEODORE K. KOENIG
Professional Field: Atmospheric Chemistry
Hiking, Travel, Beer
I had briefly lived in an overoccupied rental for several months, but hadn't thought too much about the occupancy limit. As enforcement was being ramped up in 2015 I realized the occupancy limits just never made much sense, bedrooms are built for people to live in them.
Professional Field: Data Analytics
Biking, Economics, Politics
I've lived in Boulder for over 10 years and have seen the massive difficulty that housing puts on people being able to settle down and stay in Boulder. I live in a housing cooperative and want to make it easier for people to live in affordable and community-focused housing.
Professional Field: Possibilities Cartographer
Housing/Food Security, Sustainability, Trail Work
I am a 20 yr renter in Boulder, 40 yrs of renting in CO. Without roommates, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't live as sustainably as I do. We have lost so many artists, musicians, non-profit leaders & volunteers & other wonderful people b/c the occupancy limit prevents affordability & community.
Professional Field: Transportation Safety Research
Biking, Knitting, Chocolate
When I moved here 24 years ago as a young professional, I had friends who lived in "over-occupied" houses because there was little other affordable housing for young professionals. The situation has only gotten worse. I've watched my friends and relatives move out of the city.
Professional Field: Transportation Research
Co-ops, Public Transit+Bikes, Food
For nearly a decade as a renter in Boulder, my community has been my housemates. They have provided social enrichment, emotional support, and job connections, and many have become lifelong friends. Sharing can offer a super sustainable, resilient, high quality of life, and it's wrong that it's illegal.
Professional Field: Geophysics Research Science
Trail Running, Singing in Resonance Women's Chorus
This initiative would make it easier for my partner and I to afford living in Boulder. Additionally, I firmly believe that our government shouldn't decide what counts as a family; all households should be treated equally.
Professional Field: State & Local Government
Gardening, Biking, Hiking
I don't believe Boulder should discriminate in housing based on familial status, or be in the business of defining what counts as a family. As a transplant, my roommates are my Colorado family, & our housing options are severely limited by the nature of us being a group of 4. Finding housing in Boulder is hard enough, & overly restrictive occupancy limits are an unnecessary burden on renters, especially low-income renters.
Professional Field: Information Science/Coffee Shop Manager
Technology, Fitness, Politics
For decades, Boulder local governance has pushed policies with an explicitly anti-student agenda. These policies didn't hurt just students, they've hurt an entire generation of working-class people trying to live in one of the most expensive cities in America, COVID has shown us that these essential workers are the ones who keep this city going, and time to support them and students by making bedrooms for people again.
Professional Field: Ocean Biogeochemistry
Running, Reading, Guitar
I came to Boulder in 2016 to start my PhD in atmospheric and oceanic sciences and was thrilled to live in a progresive and active town, where I could commute by bike to my office and around the city every day. I've unfortunately witnessed that the majority of graduate students are forced out of town by cost, increasing their carbon footprint (to commute) and reducing the vibrant local population of passionate students.
Professional Field: Ecotourism
Snowboarding, Biking, Travel
Allowing all people to safely live together will help address Boulder's severe housing crisis. Homeowners and renters should be able to choose how to fill their own private bedrooms without city government interference.
Professional Field: Petroleum Engineer
Writing, Gardening, People
Green space limitations make Boulder a beautiful place to live, but they have also pushed lower income and minority residents out of our town. I support increasing rental occupancy limits because it seems to me to be the only viable path to a more affordable, more diverse Boulder.
Professional Field: Infrastructure Architect
Biking, Hiking, Housing Policy
I love Boulder and I think more people should be able to experience this wonderful city. Allowing more diverse groups of people to live together makes for a more vibrant and interesting community.
Professional Field: Physicist
Mountaineering, My cat, My dog
While I was a graduate student at CU Boulder, my classmates and I found it much more affordable to rent a house together and share costs. As housing costs increase and climate change remains an issue, I find it unconscionable and discriminatory that the city mandates maintaining empty bedrooms in houses without a traditional family. Now, I own a four-bedroom house, my husband and I occupy one bedroom, and still the city mandates that we maintain empty bedrooms in our own home, rather than building a small 4-5 person community by renting out the available space at an affordable rate.
Professional Field: Environmental Studies
Cooking, Eating, Running
I have seen and felt firsthand how hard it is to live on a graduate student salary in Boulder, affordable housing is absolutely needed for graduate students and young professionals to live comfortably in boulder.
Professional Field: Finance
Maximizing the utilization of existing, available housing stock is a common-sense approach to promoting sustainability (reducing commutes/carbon emissions), supporting affordability, and enhancing Boulder's vibrancy and diversity.
Professional Field: Volunteer Coordinator
Horseback Riding, Running, Building Community
As a POC living in Boulder and having grown up in a similar environment (Portland, OR) I am exhausted by the progressive facade of these "liberal" areas. Boulder's beauty is meant for everyone, the current policy is oppressive and creates a massive barrier to a sustainably diverse and inclusive Boulder. This is an opportunity for our city to be a leader in progressive change for our state.
Professional Field: Building Performance Engineer
Cycling, Soccer, Cooking
Occupancy limits are discriminatory and exclusionary, and they have contributed greatly to racial inequities and a lack of affordable housing in the city. Eliminating these limits is an important first step toward making Boulder more accessible and equitable.
Professional Field: U.S. Environmental History
Housing policies in U.S. cities have long shaped who is included in and who is excluded from our communities. Reforming the occupancy limit is a simple way to expand housing opportunities, improve affordability, address policies that have fostered racial and class inequities, and reduce environmental impacts.
Professional Field: Aerospace Engineering
Skydiving, Fire Spinning, Board Games
I've lived in Boulder since 2001 and had several very good households destroyed by the occupancy limit. It is unfair, classist, and prevents Boulder from having rational housing policy.
Professional Field: Civil/Environmental Engineer
Outdoors, Tabletop Roleplay, Knitting
When I moved to Boulder three years ago, the first thing I did was look around for a co-op to live in. But the fact that I was a grad student under 24 years old, and a car-owner, the odds were stacked against me. I want to live in intentional community with a sense of purpose and belonging, and I have the experience and tools to do so. Lets make co-op living not only legal, but affordable and accesible to all of Boulder's residents.
Professional Field: Political Science Student
Social Equity/Good, Film, Sustainability
Boulder prides itself on its inclusivity, empathy, and openness to all, yet this occupancy law is an arcane and counter-productive contradiction to this atmosphere. Fighting to eliminate restrictive occupancy would end this contradiction and bring more equity to Boulder, in addition to countless other benefits.
Professional Field: Early Childhood Educator
Comics, Juggling, Music
I want the community that I was born in and grew up in to grow, and also to retain/increase diversity. I want Boulder to be a place that everyone who wants to be here can find and afford a place to live.
Professional Field: Holistic Education Support
Outdoors, Community, Books
I want to trend towards inclusivity—I want to live in and foster a community where unnecessary and outdated laws [that cause properties to be less affordable to anyone, and especially communities who are less financially sound because of historical (and current) economic and classist barriers]—are grown and updated. We have the capacity for understanding and these laws simply only create exclusion against less financially endowed folks; let's change that.
Professional Field: Marketing & Yoga, Wellness Coach
Yoga, Climbing, Activism
I have lived in Boulder for eight years and renting is nearly impossible without roommates. Boulder's antiquated occupancy laws are discriminatory, arbitrary, and classist. Adjusting occupancy limits will create more affordable housing options, diversifying our community, and have a positive environmental impact.
Professional Field: Transportation Advocacy
Food, Soccer, Animal Welfare
I'm tired of hearing Boulder talk about its goals around housing, transportation, and equity yet fail to enact any of the substantive changes needed to achieve those goals. Allowing people to share homes is an important first step.
Professional Field: ADU Design
Housing Justice, Plants, City Planning
Boulder's antiquated occupancy limits directly affected my ability to afford & live in Bolder when I first moved here, & forced me to live illegally and in the shadows out of fear of eviction. This experience is not uncommon. We must work to make Boulder a more safe and inclusive space while simoultaneously utilizing existing housing for our working class.
Professional Field: Outdoor Industry
Having lived illegally for years to find affordable rent, I believe Boulder's housing occupancy limits are outdated, discriminatory and quintessential NIMBYism. I want to be part of the change for a more inclusive and sustainable Boulder.
Professional Field: Software
Dancing, Baking, Biking
Many of my best relationships in Boulder over the past 10 years been with my roommates—so much so that I recently bought a house with a roommate. I want our 6-bedroom house (4 occupants, legal because of a sibling) to be a place we can both grow into, and I want other people to have the opportunity to stay in Boulder by sharing a house.
Professional Field: Architect
Cohousing, Sustainability, Making Stuff
When I moved here over twenty years ago, the housing market was showing obvious signs of becoming too economically exclusive, and now that's happened. As times have changed and conventional thinking around housing has evolved, many of us have reevaluated a lot of assumptions that are baked into Boulder's out dated housing policy. At the same time, we've more fully realized how racism and classism can be enacted through housing policy. We need to allow people to live more comfortably with less impact in joyous environments that allow for community.
Professional Field: Data Storage UI Developer
Biking, DIY Home Improvement, Masks
The ability to live near our places of work - and thus reduce the energy expenditure and GHG emissions associated with long commutes - is vital to our fight against climate change. BAFP brings the goal of a low-emission commute back into reach for people who might otherwise not be able to afford the city they work in.
Professional Field: Energy Efficiency Data Science
Chai, Running, Bikes
I want to move the needle on climate change and racial justice. Reducing transportation emissions by allowing people to live closer to where they work, go to school, and spend their time is the best way to address climate change. Undoing racist, classist, and outdated housing occupancy limits is the best way to accomplish both. It's ridiculous that we have empty bedrooms while people are commuting hours each day to get here or living on the streets.
Professional Field: Small Business Owner
Classical Singing, Philosophy, Meditation
Just as a person should have freedom of association, freedom of speech, so should they be able to live with who they choose. Whether they are biologically or romantically related is none of the state's business.
Professional Field: Chemical Engineering - Microbiology
Science, Dogs, Hiking
Everyone has a right to safe place to call home; by limiting the number of residents in a complex Boulder is constraining the city to its ideas of a "traditional" home that is not sustainable, negatively impacts the environment, and contributes the the housing crisis in Boulder. I don't think that is what Boulder should stand for.
Professional Field: Computer Science
Stand-up Comedy, Sewing, Polar Plunging
If bedrooms aren't for people, then what are they for?! Allowing houses to be fully occupied is one of the easiest ways to both expand access to housing and reduce the impact of our housing footprint on the environment.
Professional Field: College Student
Outdoors, Social Justice, Snowboarding
I’m a Colorado native and a sophomore at CU studying Strategic Communication with a minor in Urban Planning. I’ve recently become passionate about housing justice since joining the BAFP campaign as an intern. I really want to see Boulder become more sustainable and equitable before I graduate in 2023.
Professional Field: Seismology
The University of Colorado is the backbone of Boulder's economy, and the university needs students to be funded. As a graduate student I, like many students struggle with Boulder's discriminatory housing policy which makes it difficult to justify staying here for my education.
Professional Field: University Student
Hiking, Reading, Tea
I grew up in Boulder and have become increasingly frustrated with the attitudes and policies that make Boulder inaccessible and unaffordable. I'm excited by the prospect of living in a diverse, dynamic, just, and resilient city, and scaling back occupancy limits is an important step in that direction.
Professional Field: Childcare (previously Affordable Housing)
Affordable Housing, Cycling, Veggie Gardening
The current situation is ridiculous. It's expensive to build affordable housing; let's use the housing that is already built and sitting empty to house people who need it.
Professional Field: Investment Management
Environment, Outdoor Activities, Beer
Demand for housing is here and now. Letting existing bedrooms go unused because of outdated zoning laws causes new, unnecessary development far from employment, education and transportation centers, adding to traffic, over-development and pollution. We must change these rules to increase housing options and make it more affordable while improving quality of life in Boulder.
Professional Field: Outdoor Education
Boulder is the first place I have lived as an adult where I have found an actual community to be a part, but the occupancy limits make it extremely difficult to be able to live here. Scaling back occupancy limits is just one step in the direction towards making Boulder a more diverse and accessible city like the one I know it can be.
Professional Field: Software Consulting
Skiing, Martial Arts, Activism
Occupancy limits are arbitrary, classist, and outdated. Boulder is long overdue for wholesale change when it comes to housing/zoning policy; this initiative is a step in the right direction toward a more equitable and just housing system.