Updated Statement on the Demise of Fair Share Housing Proposal

June 2, 2023
For more information, contact:
Roy Occhogrosso 
[email protected]
(860) 490-1361


HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT — Today, a decision was made to pull the Fair Share Planning and Zoning proposal from an omnibus housing bill. The Fair Share proposal, which would have been a major step towards addressing Connecticut’s housing crisis, creating integrated housing choices, and kickstarting the state's economy, was one of the most meaningful and outcome-focused zoning reform bills proposed nationwide. 

With the hard work of many of the advocates, including the Growing Together Connecticut Consortium and the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance, and legislative partners including Rep. Luxenberg, Majority Leader Rojas, and Senators Looney and Duff – the bill advanced through the Legislature with its critical components intact. These core elements included a meaningful calculation of the need for affordable housing, a municipal planning process, and enforcement. 

Unfortunately, after advancing out of the Housing Committee process largely intact, the Fair Share proposal was subsequently and consistently watered down.  During those several months, we met with dozens of legislators and tried our best to address their concerns.  We made significant concessions to them on almost every section of the bill, including the number of units to be built and the timeframe to implement the Fair Share plan.  What we were not willing to compromise on was the notion that the bill needed to contain a meaningful enforcement mechanism that would have forced non-complying towns to do something meaningful.  Without that, the entire concept doesn’t work.

To those who will claim “victory” about this development, you are responsible for perpetuating the housing crisis the state faces.  You are holding back our economy, and for continuing to make Connecticut an unaffordable place to live for young people starting their first jobs, for middle-class workers who don’t make a ton of money, and for seniors who desperately want to stay in the communities they’ve lived in their entire lives. You are, even today, too often acting in violation of state statutes and the state constitution, which require towns to advance economic opportunity and to tackle segregation.

Despite our disappointment, this session provided a tremendous opportunity to educate policy leaders, stakeholders, and community members about Fair Share and to build a base of strong support for future advocacy. We connected to thousands of people across the state who believe that all towns should welcome people who need for affordable housing and when the towns refuse to do so, the state, which delegated the power to zone to towns to begin with, has an obligation to step in.


Open Communities Alliance (OCA) is a Connecticut-based civil rights nonprofit organization that promotes access to opportunity for all people through education, organizing, advocacy, research, and partnerships. OCA’s ambitious mission of unwinding Connecticut’s history of government-perpetuated segregation focuses on reducing social, economic, and health disparities experienced by low-income families of color and generating access to “opportunity” by establishing pathways to affordable housing in thriving communities. For more information, please visit ctoca.org. 



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