Housing Group Fights to Keep ‘Fair Share’ Study on Track

An advocate group is pushing for the state’s “fair share” housing study to be completed by its original December deadline, in time for lawmakers to reintroduce legislation addressing Connecticut’s housing needs next year.

Despite a monthslong delay in finding a contractor, ECOnorthwest, to conduct the study, Erin Boggs, executive director of the Open Communities Alliance, said the report’s subsequent postponement until June 2025 is a breach of state statute.

“The RFP that has now been awarded to a contractor. And the RFP says that it will have draft numbers by January 2025 and the full study won’t be done until June 2025,” she said. “That doesn’t follow the statute.”

Should the final study data be delayed to next summer, it could also delay the crafting of “fair share” legislation, leaving limited time before the Connecticut General Assembly’s long session concludes the first week of June.

The legislation, based on New Jersey’s Mount Laurel Doctrine, would establish an affordable housing allocation for each Connecticut town based on an assessment formula comprising regional need, percentages of multifamily housing and poverty, and comparative median income, among other factors.

The bill died in committee in 2021 and was revived as part of the omnibus housing bill in 2023, but only received passage as a study.

Boggs, whose organization is part of a consortium of housing advocates known as Growing Together CT, said her organization will talk with the Office of Policy and Management concerning enforcement of the statute.

“We’re exploring our options. The first step is to have conversations with the government entities involved. It’s fair to say we are concerned about the study not being in compliance with the state law. We are engaging in conversations to try to correct that,” Boggs said.

 

Housing Group Fights to Keep ‘Fair Share’ Study on Track, Cate Hewitt, CT Examiner, May 28, 2024, available here

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