A lack of appetite for zoning reform has advocates, legislators regrouping

Despite five years of advance notice that Connecticut towns would have to submit affordable housing plans by June 1, less than half of them made the deadline.

The deadline — established by a 2017 law that requires such plans every five years —marked an important date for affordable housing advocates in Connecticut.

As of Thursday, just 46% of the state’s towns had submitted plans to the Office of Policy and Management. Nineteen percent of the towns “proactively notified” the office that they wouldn’t meet the deadline and provided an anticipated date.

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Open Communities Alliance: Confronting Segregation and Its Impact in Connecticut

The killing of George Floyd in May of 2020 sparked a long-needed racial consciousness awakening across the United States with people of all races filling the streets in cities, suburbs, and rural areas in protest. This energy has been channeled into heightened “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” efforts at corporations and foundations, calls to “defund” the police, accelerated efforts to end mass incarceration, and much more, running the gamut from window dressing to deep and meaningful structural change. The housing sectors—non-profit and for profit, builders, financial institutions, and government agencies—are examining their systems and practices. The pressing question is, how do we make this moment mean something?

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Glastonbury could build hundreds of affordable housing units with tweaks to zoning laws, report says

The demand for affordable housing is strong, in Glastonbury and across the state.

Connecticut lacks about 85,000 affordable units for extremely low-income renters, according to National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates. Glastonbury’s multifamily rental properties have been “functionally zero” in recent years, according to John Guszkowski, co-founder and Principal at Tyche Planning & Policy Group .The current waitlist for property owned by the Glastonbury Housing Authority has more than 1,100 names.

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Group offers ideas to build affordable housing

GLASTONBURY — The town could do its share to meet the Hartford area’s affordable housing needs through measure such as allowing multifamily developments on lots now limited to single-family homes, using town-owned land for multifamily housing, and allowing redevelopment of underused office buildings as apartments.

Those are among the suggestions of the Vernon-based Tyche Planning and Policy Group, which was hired by the Glastonbury group TALK Inc. and the Hartford-based Open Communities Alliance with a grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

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‘Ambitious’ Housing Bill Gets a Second Chance in Connecticut Legislature

After dying in committee last year, the “Fair Share” affordable housing bill is heading to the floor of the Connecticut General Assembly for a vote after receiving the approval of the state’s Housing Committee earlier in March.

The law, if passed, would supplement the state’s existing affordable housing law by establishing town-by-town goals for constructing affordable apartments that, if built, would together add roughly two or three times the housing now required under 8-30g.

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A study shows zoning impediments to multifamily housing in East Lyme and Stonington

East Lyme and Stonington are among 12 towns across the state with zoning barriers that discourage and impede multifamily and affordable housing, according to a study released last week.

"Zoning for Equity: Examining Planning and Zoning Impediments to Housing and School Diversity" is the second federally funded report from Open Communities Alliance, a Connecticut-based civil rights nonprofit organization, in the last two years. The reports are aimed at examining planning and zoning regulations in 24 towns.

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‘Zoning for Equity’ report by local nonprofit finds barriers persist in building affordable housing

Significant barriers to housing options for low to moderate income families with children persist in Connecticut, according to findings from a new “Zoning for Equity: Examining Planning and Zoning Impediments to Housing and School Diversity” report.

The federally-funded report from Open Communities Alliance, looked into the zoning and planning of 12, mostly white and wealthier than average towns including East Lyme, Farmington, Gilford, Monroe, New Canaan, North Branford, Old Saybrook, Shelton, Simsbury, Stonington, Wallingford and Weston.

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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.

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Advocates: ‘Fair Share’ law would increase affordable housing in CT

An approach to affordable housing that assigns each town a certain number of units to plan and zone for, based on the needs of its region, would help cut down on housing segregation in Connecticut, advocates said Thursday.

Under the proposed “Fair Share” law, the state Office of Policy and Management would assess the need for affordable housing in different parts of Connecticut. Then, towns would share the responsibility to meet that need.

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Growing together: Let’s end segregation and build a better economy

Housing — and housing segregation — has never been so expensive.

Connecticut is one of the costliest places to live in the country. We have the 10th-highest housing costs, so one might expect it to be bursting with high-quality jobs and workers flocking to our state to take part in a thriving economy. Instead, the state’s work force has dropped by 92,000 people since this time last year. Even worse, Connecticut is close to last in economic and population growth in the country. It’s not a coincidence that Connecticut is also one of the most segregated states in the country. Our broken housing policies lead to segregation and economic stagnation — and we pay for it through the nose.

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  • Open Communities Alliance
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  • Hartford, CT 06106
  • Phone: 860-610-6040