Be an Advocate in Your Town

Are you interested in promoting affordable housing in your community?

There are a number of ways you can affect change in your town.

1. Educate yourself, your friends and neighbors about the best current research on the impact affordable housing has on a neighborhood.

2. Become involved with town planning and zoning.

  • Investigate the Connecticut Zoning Initiative website and see how your town compares to other towns
  • Does your town require a larger minimum lot size than other towns?
  • Does your town seem to have burdensome requirements for multifamily development as compared to single family development?
  • Check out your town's planning documents, including the Plan of Conservation and Development, zoning regulations, and other planning documents, and become involved with updating them
  • Apply for an Incentive Housing Zone under HOMEConnecticut
  • Work with LISC and the Housing Coalition to create housing connections
  • Ease the ability to convert single-family homes to multifamily home
  • Simplify the process for adding in-law suites (also called accessory apartments)
  • Explore the possibility of allowing, as a right, the ability to reduce minimum lot size to 1/2 an acre for up to 30% of lots in a zone
  • Increase the maximum allowable heights to add an additional story on commercial buildings to promote mixed-use buildings

3. Explore where opportunity housing would work best in town.

  • Envision a development that would include affordable units in a way that could work in your town
  • Would your town benefit from affordable multifamily homes? Mixed use development?
  • Is there a particular property that would be a great location for development?

4. Join our partnership to continue this conversation.

Identify specific properties for future development or redevelopment.

Research developers with a good track record.

5. Work together to create a more welcoming town.

  • Explore with neighbors of color their thoughts on the feeling of inclusion in the town and challenges that need to be overcome.
  • Reach out to local landlords to educate them on why the Housing Choice Voucher program (formerly known as Section 8) is a good thing, in order to counteract the stigma associated with the program.
  • Consider whether town activities are open to nearby communities that may be more racially diverse (sports leagues, town beaches or ponds, town parks and playgrounds, annual town events).

OCA is available to answer any questions you might have about any of these suggestions, or if you have your own ideas.

  • Open Communities Alliance
  • 75 Charter Oak Avenue
  • Suite 1-210
  • Hartford, CT 06106
  • Phone: 860-610-6040