2016 Policy Priorities

Resource Links:

(1) Balancing the LIHTC program (revisiting our effort from 2015): Proposed Substitute Bill No. 155Open 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 are four policies that would advance an opportunity agenda.

Update 3/8/16: This bill was voted out of committee.

Goal: Address the fact that since 1987, 88% of LIHTC units in Connecticut have been built in outside of higher opportunity areas. This limits choice and generates poverty concentration. This proposal counters this long history of unbalanced placements by giving proposals for non-age-restricted developments in higher opportunity areas “first dibs” on at least 60% of the credits and catalytic proposals outside of such areas priority for at least 25% of the credits. This proposal strives to infuse the program with some geographical balance that will at once create access to opportunity for low-income families and support catalytic development in areas that are struggling.

  • If an insufficient number of qualified applications is received for the two identified categories, the remaining credits may be handed out in a manner deemed appropriate by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.
  • The proposed language makes clear that developments proposed within Qualified Census Tracts can be prioritized as alluded to in the federal LIHTC statute.

Proposed Substitute Bill 155

Fact Sheet: LIHTC Developments in Connecticut

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.

(2) Improving the collection of housing data (revisiting our effort from 2015): Proposed Substitute Bill No. 156

Update 3/8/16: This bill was voted out of committee.

Goal: Streamline the numerous reporting requirements of the Department of Housing and Connecticut Housing Finance Authority with regard to housing needs assessment, total stock of subsidized housing, fair housing assessment, and affirmative marketing. 

  • The list of subsidized housing shall include all meaningful statistics of each development, including the location, the number and size of units, the population served, the funding source, and the year of allocation.  
  • The Department of Housing shall also produce an annual report on all current residents of such housing, including anonymized data on location, race, family status, disability status, income range, marital status, and householder gender.   

Proposed Substitute Bill No. 156

Fact Sheet: Data Critical to Fair Housing

(3) Security deposit guarantees set aside for participants of the mobility counseling program

Update: This bill was unfortunately not raised this year, but will be pursued by OCA in the future.

Goal: Increase the chances that the under-funded mobility counseling program can succeed by adjusting the Security Deposit Guarantee program to allocate a small portion to families and individuals, including the homeless and veterans, making moves to or remaining in higher opportunity areas that frequently have higher rents and, therefore, higher security deposit barriers.

  • Any mobility Security Deposit Guarantees not used in any given quarter are to be returned to the general pool of the program.

Fact Sheet: Security Deposit Guarantees

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