Facing a state-mandated deadline of Wednesday, Connecticut communities this spring have been wrapping up work on their official plans to provide more affordable housing — even though many caution that the state’s goal isn’t practical.
As of May 23, fewer than 50 of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities had filed plans, according to the state Office of Policy and Management.
Although the state wants each community to have at least 10% of its housing qualify as affordable, the most common theme in the various housing plans is that conditions vary widely from one town to another.
In their plans, some communities — notably smaller, rural towns — caution that encouraging or mandating affordable housing could create extraordinary costs in areas without sufficient water, sewer or other utility service. A few more built-out suburbs present a different argument, saying that very little space exists for large-scale new housing.
Others appear to be more receptive to changing how they handle residential development planning. Wealthy Westport, for instance, is proposing to create an affordable housing trust fund that would operate a bit like an open space preservation fund.
As affordable housing deadline approaches, Connecticut towns’ response a mix of pushback and innovation — and one allegation of perpetuating segregation, Don Stacom, Hartford Courant, May 29, 2022, available here