COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Demonstrators are calling on Colorado lawmakers to overturn state law and allow the government to step in and help residents struggling to pay rent.
Some say that "rent stabilization" policies are the answer to a more affordable lifestyle. They want a law, passed in 1981, that prevents governments from imposing rent policies on private property to be overturned.
"Everybody wants a safe and sustainable home, but that isn't possible for many Coloradans and that isn't just."
Ceshay Pacheco, a Colorado Springs resident, is one of many experiencing the effects of higher rent firsthand.
"I am a single parent so I feel like I have to work probably four times as hard, so when it does go up that high I pretty much work all the time and do not get to stay at home," said Pacheco.
The Apartment Association of Southern Colorado says rent in Colorado Springs on average has increased by about $300 in the last three years.
Others, however, say allowing the government to step in could have "far-reaching" long-term effects.
Laura Nelson, executive director of The Apartment Association of Southern Colorado, believes allowing governments to set rent policies would hurt property owners more than it would benefit them.
"It discourages development- other folks who may have been looking to build in an area that suddenly has rent control will simply take their investment elsewhere, it limits the ability of the owner to be able to upgrade the units because the market is no longer working for them," said Nelson.
This isn't the first time people have tried to overturn the decades-old law. In 2019, a bill to overturn state law to allow for rent control policies failed to pass.