(1) HB-6138: AN ACT CONCERNING RESIDENCE MOBILITY COUNSELING FOR SUBSIDIZED HOUSING.Open Communities Alliance works within its Focus Areas to further understanding about why access to opportunity is important and policies that help us get there. In the 2015 Legislative Session there were three bills that proposed policies that would advance an opportunity agenda.
Update 7/7/15: Governor Malloy has signed this bill, Public Act 15-153!
Update 6/3/15: The Senate voted on and approved this bill; now we are just waiting for Governor Malloy to sign it!
Update 5/19/15: The House voted on and approved this bill; it now moves on to the Senate.
Why we need it: 83% of people using the Housing Choice Voucher program are living in the 6% of the state that is disproportionately minority. This is not housing choice. With the changes recommended below, this bill would statutorily formalize the existing mobility counseling program and apply stronger standards that have been proven effective elsewhere in the country.
How can it be better: Plan future full funding of the program.
For more information on mobility counseling, click here.
(2) HB-6640: AN ACT CONCERNING THE ALLOCATION OF LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDITS.
Why we need it: Since 1987, 73% of LIHTC units in Connecticut have been located in the 6% of the state that is disproportionately minority. This limits choice and generates poverty concentration. HB 6640 counters this long history of unbalanced placements by giving proposals for family developments in higher opportunity areas “first dibs” on 60% of the credits and catalytic proposals outside of such areas priority for 25% of the credits.
How can it be better: The definition of when a project is feasible should be changed to a development with a reasonable likelihood of initiating construction within two years of the credits being awarded.
Creating Balance in the Locations of LIHTC Developments: The Role of Qualified Allocation Plans, by Jill Khadduri, PRRAC (February 2013)
Building Opportunity: Civil Rights Best Practices in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (An Updated Fifty-State Review of LIHTC “Qualified Allocation Plans” ) (October 2008) (PRRAC with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law)
For more information on the placement of subsidized housing in Connecticut, click here.
(3) HB-6461: AN ACT CONCERNING THE DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
Why we need it: We need to collect the data that will allow us to know what our housing resources are. The state does not even have a single comprehensive list of all the subsidized housing in its portfolio.
How can it be better: This bill did not make it out of the Housing Committee. The original LCO language needs to be amended to another bill.