The controversial Fair Share bill – affordable housing legislation that was killed in committee in 2021 – was back on the table at Tuesday’s Housing Committee public hearing along with a number of other bills up for discussion.
“There’s a consensus that we are in an affordable housing crisis. Connecticut, led by its political leaders, has an important decision to make – do we want to address zoning over-regulation and plan and zone for a sustainable economy and equitable future or not? It’s really that simple,” said Erin Boggs, executive director of Open Communities Alliance, who spoke in favor of the bill.
Boggs said her organization was a member of the steering committee of Growing Together Connecticut, which she described as “a statewide consortium of organizations advocating for equitable investments and policies in under-resourced communities and expanded affordable housing choices in all parts of the state.”
She said the Fair Share bill would “implement a new statewide housing policy framework based on an effective process in New Jersey'” – modeled on the Mt. Laurel Doctrine.
The bill would require the Office of Policy and Management to determine the need for affordable housing in each planning region, and distribute the need to towns within each region based on grand list value, median income, lower poverty rate and other factors. Towns with a poverty rate of more than 20 percent would not need be included in Fair Share.
Fair Share, Adding 8-30g Units, Senior Tax Abatements: Up Late with the Housing Committee, Cate Hewitt, CT Examiner, March 1, 2023, available here