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A dog walker named Courtney walks with her dogs near Lake of the Isles on Thursday in Minneapolis.

During an affordable housing crisis, a state legislator wants a law that would reduce rental stock, increase rents and leave more pets without families and homes. Political voodoo doesn’t get much goofier than House Bill 23-1068. We can laugh, but this bill would do real harm to animals and humans.

Most have witnessed individuals experiencing homelessness along with a dog on a cold winter night. Finding basic shelter is expensive and difficult in Colorado, where demand far exceeds supply. Beloved pets cause additional hurdles for people in need of affordable housing.

Rep. Alex Valdez, a Denver Democrat, wants to rescue renters and their pets. At least, he wants the appearance of doing so. Valdez introduced HB-1068 and titled it “Pet Animal Ownership In Housing.”

The meat of the bill is simple to grasp. It flat-out prohibits “security deposits or rent for pet animals.” Just make a law and these costs will vanish.

Finally, someone figured out the art of governing to make life easier for humans, dogs, cats, green alligators, long-necked geese, cats and rats and elephants ... and let’s not forget the unicorn. The law would force fat cat landlords to eat the cost when a poorly trained animal destroys the carpets or scratches up the doors. The only possible equation for this bill is more make-believe than ingenious: landlords bad + tenants good x animals adorable = affordable housing bill for pets.

If politicians can do this, think what else they could do. They could pass a law to forbid rent and make housing free. A new law could tell homeless people to “just buy a house.” If legislation can dramatically alter human transactions and defy economic principles, we need more utopian mandates like the “Pet Ownership In Housing” act.

Of course, HB 1068 would not cause the desired effect. It would, beyond question, reduce the rental stock for people with pets. More humans with dogs would live outside. Even the most pet-friendly landlords encounter tenants who allow one or more pets to destroy a living space.

Here’s the good news. In economies built on voluntary trade, renters and tenants work things out among themselves.

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Those willing to accept the risks of tenants with pets are free to absorb the costs of unfortunate outcomes. They are free to declare “no pets.” They are free to accept only lightweight dogs, or cats but not dogs. In the vast middle, landlords, hotel managers and bed-and-breakfast owners allow pets for anyone willing to pay a damage deposit. If something goes wrong, the deposit covers all or most of it.

Pets create costs, including damage deposits. Those who cannot afford the costs should forgo pets until their fortunes change.

In a clumsy effort to correct faulty economic equation, HB-1068 would establish “The Pet-friendly Landlord Damage Mitigation Program.” The state would pay landlords up to $1,000 for damages caused by pets.

There’s one small catch. It would help landlords on “a first come, first served basis,” which means funding only for those who prove their cases before the money runs out.

The bill would force any landlord seeking the state’s Affordable Housing Tax Credit to accept pets, with no deposits or questions allowed and no limitation on sizes or breeds. This, of course, would reduce the incentive for property owners to participate in a program intended to expand affordable housing. The math: landlords in tax-credit program + costly new mandate = less affordable housing (squared).

The bill would prohibit insurers from considering any homeowner’s dog breed when assessing risk and setting rates. That would render insurers unable to mitigate the potential costs of injuries or fatalities caused by dog attacks. Instead, insurers would spread that risk among all homeowners. The dogless would subsidize the dogged, increasing the cost of homeowners’ coverage.

House Bill 1068 should inspire a children’s book, call it “Fido-nomics,” to show how regulatory fantasies pose more harm than good — for humans and our four-legged friends.