Affordable Housing Statute Faces Increased Scrutiny

A law passed more than 30 years ago to increase affordable housing across the state is increasingly coming under fire from those who claim it has failed to prevent the state’s current housing crisis.

The Housing Committee heard public testimony Tuesday on a bill that calls for the Housing Commissioner to conduct a study of the impacts of the 30-year-old law – known as 8-30g – and to determine if its revisions would create more affordable housing around the state.

Opponents of the bill fear it is a backdoor attempt to gut 8-30g’s affordable housing goals.

CT General Statute 8-30g, also known as the “Connecticut Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure,” was passed in 1989. The law sets a goal that 10% of the housing stock in any Connecticut municipality must qualify as “affordable housing.” In municipalities where that goal isn’t met, developers can submit an appeal to the state to override local zoning regulations to build high-density, multi-family housing or other large-scale housing developments.

In a study published earlier this year by the Office of Policy and Management, historic exclusionary zoning practices were found to be one of the major causes of the state’s racial and economic segregation.


There is still strong support for 8-30g among the state’s housing advocates, and several of them made sure to let the committee know that the statute still has work to do in its current state.

“Section 8-30g is one of the state’s most important zoning laws and is a key statute in inducing towns to comply with their long-standing obligations under the state’s Zoning Enabling Act to ‘promote housing choice and economic diversity in housing, including housing for both low- and moderate-income households,'” said Sean Ghio, policy director for the Partnership for Strong Communities, in testimony submitted to the committee. “If you are concerned with reducing racial and economic segregation, closing the achievement gap, and improving access to good jobs, creating integrated communities with a diversity of housing choices with Section 8-30g is essential.”

Erin Boggs, executive director of Open Communities Alliance, agreed.

“This bill or something similar is proposed every year, generally advocated for by people who oppose adding affordable housing to their town and oppose the Affordable Housing Appeals Act, even though towns have had 30 years to plan and zone for greater affordability that would gain them a moratorium to or exemption from this law. There is no reason to further study 8-30g.”


Affordable Housing Statute Faces Increased Scrutiny, Jamil Ragland, CT News Junkie, March 6, 2024, available here

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