Guidance on HB 24-1007 Concerning Residential Occupancy Limits



HB 24-1007, concerning residential occupancy limits, is applicable to all city, town, and county governments in Colorado, including each home rule or statutory city or town, home rule or statutory county, territorial charter municipality, and consolidated city and county, regardless of population or location in the state. It takes effect on July 1, 2024.

Text of Bill

“A local government shall not limit the number of people who may live together in a single dwelling based on familial relationship. Local governments retain the authority to implement residential occupancy limits based only on:

  1. demonstrated health and safety standards, such as international building code standards, fire code regulations, or Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment wastewater and water quality standards; or
  2. local, state, federal, or political subdivision affordable housing program guidelines.”


HB 24-1007 prohibits applicable local governments in Colorado from limiting residential occupancy based on whether the occupants are related. This bill is designed to make it easier to share existing homes between occupants, whether or not they are related, while still retaining occupancy limits based on demonstrated health and safety standards. Enabling roommates or smaller families to share a home can better utilize existing homes as household sizes continue to decrease in Colorado, and can help households afford increasingly high housing costs. 

This section explains how local governments currently regulate occupancy, and provides examples for how communities may update their codes and practices to be in compliance with this Act. Currently, many Colorado communities limit the number of occupants that may live in  a dwelling unit in a variety of ways, including: 

  1. Zoning/Land Use Code: The definition of a “family” or “household” within zoning or land use codes often contains a limit on the number of unrelated persons who can live together in a dwelling unit. In general, these limits are not based on considerations of public health or safety. HB 24-1007 now prohibits these types of limits based on whether persons in the household are related to each other.
  2. International Code Council (ICC) Codes: The ICC publishes model codes, such as the International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Fire Code, and International Property Maintenance Code, which establish minimum requirements to provide a reasonable level of health and safety for occupants, among other things. These model codes include minimum area requirements for all or parts of a dwelling per occupant and other health and safety requirements. These ICC codes are frequently adopted by local governments with amendments. ICC code regulations related to occupancy limits are intended to protect public health and safety from the impacts of overcrowding and are generally based on internationally developed standards rather than local preferences.

    HB 24-1007 does not prohibit the use of limits on occupancy as long as those limits are based only on demonstrated health and safety standards.

Demonstrating Compliance

A local government is in compliance with HB 24-1007 as long as the local government is not enforcing any occupancy restrictions that would contradict the standards within the law. There is no reporting requirement to state agencies, though DOLA will be developing a system for local governments to voluntarily report how they are complying.

Although amendment of local codes and regulations to comply with HB 24-1007 is recommended as a best practice, this is not required in order to be in compliance with the law. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2024, and many local governments may need more time to update codes. As an alternative, or until a local government can amend its regulations to align with the new Act, the local government can instruct code enforcement staff to not enforce limits on the number of unrelated persons occupying a dwelling unit. If this approach is taken, adoption of a resolution to that effect by the governing body is recommended, but is not required for compliance with HB 24-1007.

It is also recommended that local governments review their website and any other public-facing materials to ensure information regarding occupancy limits is accurate.

Guidance and Examples

The following two examples are from zoning ordinances currently in use in Colorado, with strikeout text used to show the language that should be deleted and bold text that could be added to these definitions while remaining consistent with the new Act. These examples are presented not as recommended definitions, but to illustrate the minimum changes necessary to reflect the requirements of HB 24-1007.

Example 1

Family: An individual, two or more persons related by blood, marriage, adoption, or similar legal relationship, or a group of persons who need not be so related, plus domestic staff employed for services on the premises, living together as a single housekeeping unit in one dwelling unit. The definition of “family” shall apply regardless of whether any member of such group receives outside services for mental, emotional, or physical disability. 

Example 2

Household: Any one of the following: (1) One or more persons related by blood, marriage, adoption, or legal guardianship, including foster children, living together in a dwelling unit; or (2) A group of persons not related by blood, marriage, adoption, or legal guardianship living together in a dwelling unit; or (3) Two or more unrelated persons and their children living together in a dwelling unit.

Optional Text

Although not required for compliance with HB 24-1007, the tie between these revised definitions and applicable health and safety-related limits on occupancy could be clarified by adding the following to or after the definition of “family” or “household.”

The number of persons occupying each dwelling unit shall not exceed the maximum permitted by the applicable adopted building code or safety code, or by any applicable state or federal law or regulation, or by affordable housing guidelines applicable to the dwelling unit.

Although it is not binding on Colorado communities that have adopted their own versions of building codes, the version of the International Building Code used by the Colorado Division of Housing and applicable in those communities that have not adopted their own building codes requires that homes contain at least 150 square feet of space for the first occupant and at least 100 square feet of space for each additional occupant. Cities and counties that wish to align with this standard could add the following to or after the definition of “family” or “household.”

The number of persons occupying each dwelling unit shall not exceed one person for a dwelling unit with between 150 and 250 square feet of habitable space, plus one additional person for each additional 100 square feet of habitable space above 250 square feet, or the maximum permitted by any applicable state or federal law or by affordable housing guidelines applicable to the dwelling unit. 


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