New study examines barriers to multifamily housing in CT towns

In at least 12 Connecticut towns, there are major impediments to building multifamily housing that’s affordable, and many of these barriers exist in the name of preserving the towns’ character, a new study says.

The study from the Open Communities Alliance examines zoning policy and land use in East Lyme, Farmington, Guilford, Monroe, New Canaan, North Branford, Old Saybrook, Shelton, Simsbury, Stonington, Wallingford and Weston.

Some of the barriers outlined in the report include rules requiring developers to get special permission from planning and zoning commissions for multi-family housing, age restrictions on affordable housing that make it difficult for families with children to obtain housing, and a focus on large-lot single-family homes in predominantly white neighborhoods.

The study says that the zoning decisions push out multi-family housing that’s typically more affordable to families with low incomes.

In the towns examined, single-family housing typically didn’t need approval from planning and zoning commissions while multi-family housing always did, which slows down the process and discourages developers from building, alliance staff said in an interview.


New study examines barriers to multifamily housing in CT towns, Ginny Monk, CT Mirror, April 7, 2022, available here

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