New coalition renews push for more affordable housing in CT

About 20 organizations have joined a coalition to support a new, multi-year initiative designed to support more affordable housing and reduce segregation in Connecticut.

The initiative, called Growing Together Connecticut, aims to build 300,000 new housing units and promote revitalization in Connecticut over the next 10 years. Among the first goals is to create a fair share planning and zoning law for zoning reform in the state.

“From our perspective, Connecticut has this sort of dual housing crisis,” said Erin Boggs, executive director of the Open Communities Alliance. The alliance is an organizing member on the steering committee.

“On one hand, we are one of the most expensive states in the country, and on the other, we are one of the most segregated.”

Municipalities would be responsible for building a share of new affordable housing units to meet a statewide goal. A draft bill stipulates the state will determine the need.

The fair share initiative is based on a New Jersey law.

Each municipality’s share is determined through four factors: A town’s wealth as defined by its equalized grand list, the median income compared to other towns in its region, the percentage of housing stock that is multifamily housing, and the rate of poverty in a town, according to initiative documents.

Towns can develop their own plans for how to meet those goals, under the proposal. The proposal also says the state will establish enforcement and incentive tactics to ensure municipalities participate.

“It’s sort of common sense, and it builds off of existing state statutes to say every town has an obligation under state law to be planning and zoning for affordable housing,” Boggs said.

New coalition renews push for more affordable housing in CT, Ginny Monk, CT Insider, Feb. 14, 2022, available here

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