Bedrooms Are For People, the initiative that decides the future of Boulder's housing
By Eden Villalovas. Originally published in The Bold CU on October 12, 2021.
"On Nov. 2, 2021, Boulderites will vote whether or not to pass Ballot Question 300, proposed by Bedrooms Are For People, a grassroots organization seeking to reform housing occupancy laws in Boulder.
City of Boulder Ballot Question 300 – Bedrooms are for People The Ballot Question is: 'Shall the City of Boulder expand access to housing by allowing all housing units to be occupied by a number of people equal to the number of legal bedrooms, plus one additional person per home, provided that relevant health and safety codes are met?'
In light of the November 2, Boulder Election Ballot, Bedrooms Are For People (BAFP) are encouraging Boulder residents to vote ‘yes’ on the Ballot Question 300 measure.
Currently, depending on the zone, Boulder law bars more than three or four unrelated adults from living in the same residence.
BAFP was founded in 2020 by Boulder residents seeking to ratify the present housing limit laws. Eric Budd and Chelsea Castellano are co-organizers for the movement and have been pushing for more inclusive housing with the campaign for the last two election cycles.
'Our feeling is that when your elected representatives aren’t doing the job that you think they should be then you can take action,' Castellano said. 'It’s been really amazing to see how much support we have across the community and how many people are behind our measure.'
The grassroots movement has been fighting to put their measure on the ballot for the past few years. Despite receiving 7,764 signatures last August, well over the required 4,048 at the time, the City Council opted against placing the measure on the 2020 ballot.
Bedrooms Are For People launched a lawsuit against the Boulder City Council, after the council voted 5-4 in favor of changing the rules on signatures and deadlines, demanding 8,096 signatures, disqualifying BAFP from the 2020 ballot. The district court ruled against BAFP, and the The Colorado Supreme Court dismissed their appeal.
'The city basically made some mistakes with their ballot measure process and the city council changed their election laws to actually keep us off the ballot, they changed their interpretation of the election laws,' Budd said. 'We had to try again this year and now we are very motivated, very organized, very on the ballot.'
In the face of tremendous hardship brought on by faulty city guidelines, BAFP came out triumphant and reached the requirements to be on the 2021 Boulder ballot."