A lack of land for multi-family homes, limited infrastructure and local zoning restrictions are among the challenges faced in increasing towns’ affordable housing supply, according to a new report from Open Communities Alliance.
“The easier you make it, the less it’s going to cost and the more you’re probably going to get,” Roger Maldonado, an attorney with the organization, said at a presentation Thursday evening.
The report, Zoning for Equity, examines 12 Connecticut towns that have low percentages of affordable housing, including Darien, North Haven, Southbury, Fairfield, Ridgefield, Orange and Westport.
Members of the Open Communities Alliance — a civil rights organization that focuses on expanding opportunities in the state, especially with housing choice — said the report was meant to illustrate impediments with local planning and zoning so that towns could improve affordable housing options in a community-led way, crafting solutions that work for them.
“It’s meant to be a diagnostic tool,” Maldonado said.
The towns were also selected because they are predominantly wealthy and white, while still representing a variety of town sizes and counties, Maldonado said.
'Deal with it head on': Report highlights zoning disparities affecting affordable housing, Katrina Koerting, Fairfield Citizen, June 18, 2021, available here