A new report from a New Jersey agency outlines how a state policy that requires towns to provide their “fair share” of the regional need for affordable housing has worked to double the rate of affordable housing production, ramp up the number of multi-family dwellings and integrate communities in recent years.
The policy, established by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1975, is the basis for a zoning reform proposal making its way through Connecticut’s legislature. The New Jersey Fair Share Housing Center on Wednesday released a report on the policy’s successes, as well as lessons for other states to implement fair share. In 2015, New Jersey reinvigorated enforcement of the policy, and Wednesday’s report outlined the results of that work.
House Majority leader Rep. Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford, spoke at Wednesday’s press conference, signaling his support for a fair share policy in Connecticut.
That proposal, House Bill 6633, passed the Housing Committee in March. The first drafts of the Appropriations Committee’s budget didn’t include a mention of the policy, although Housing Committee leadership say they’re negotiating for it.
“If we look at fair share in New Jersey and try to model that here in Connecticut — because we face a lot of the same issues in many of our states and particularly blue states, right?,” Rojas said Wednesday. “We’re a blue state, we’re progressive. I don’t know how really progressive we are on housing policies. In fact, we’re actually quite regressive.”
Rojas said he and other lawmakers are meeting with stakeholders and people who opposed the bill to try to reach a compromise. He’s hopeful it will pass this session, he said.
New Jersey report highlights impacts of bill proposed in CT, Ginny Monk, CT Mirror, April 26, 2023, available here