Affordable Housing Statute Faces Increased Scrutiny

A law passed more than 30 years ago to increase affordable housing across the state is increasingly coming under fire from those who claim it has failed to prevent the state’s current housing crisis.

The Housing Committee heard public testimony Tuesday on a bill that calls for the Housing Commissioner to conduct a study of the impacts of the 30-year-old law – known as 8-30g – and to determine if its revisions would create more affordable housing around the state.

Opponents of the bill fear it is a backdoor attempt to gut 8-30g’s affordable housing goals.

CT General Statute 8-30g, also known as the “Connecticut Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure,” was passed in 1989. The law sets a goal that 10% of the housing stock in any Connecticut municipality must qualify as “affordable housing.” In municipalities where that goal isn’t met, developers can submit an appeal to the state to override local zoning regulations to build high-density, multi-family housing or other large-scale housing developments.

In a study published earlier this year by the Office of Policy and Management, historic exclusionary zoning practices were found to be one of the major causes of the state’s racial and economic segregation.

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Wide-ranging CT affordable housing bill sparks familiar arguments

Housing Committee members heard familiar arguments Tuesday on a wide-ranging bill that aims to increase affordable housing supply in Connecticut. While opponents argued for local control and less density, advocates spoke about a need to alleviate the fallout from the affordable housing crisis.

Senate Bill 6, the Senate Democrats’ priority bill on housing this session, would also allow housing authorities to build in other towns, give more money to the homelessness response system and add funding to the state’s Rental Assistance Program.

Advocates of the bill spoke to a dire need for more affordable housing. People are struggling to find a place to live, they said, and it’s difficult for people with low incomes to live in many communities in the state. Some also said it’s hard for employers to hire people because there isn’t enough housing for staff.

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Opinion: Can CT move past a shameful history of segregation?

The state deserves credit for the release of the Connecticut Housing & Segregation Study, which was made public in January. This deep dive into the state’s residential housing patterns reveals historic discrimination that has persisted to the present day and continues to shape our cities and towns. Connecticut, it finds, is among the most segregated states in the union.

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Connecticut Is Racially Segregated: Now What?

A recent study funded by the state reveals that Connecticut is experiencing rising racial and economic segregation, marking it one of the most segregated regions in the nation. This trend is particularly evident in certain areas across the state.

The Fairfield County Center for Housing Opportunity (FCCHO) conducted a virtual forum on the report Wednesday.

“There are few, if any, surprises in this study,” said former Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein, as she began the event. “Still, we need to discuss the findings, and most importantly, the possible solutions and actions that should be taken not only in the legislative session, but also in other arenas.”

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To solve Connecticut’s housing crisis, start by taking these steps

The housing crisis in Connecticut takes many forms. Whether it’s a lack of starter homes for young families, a shortage of units for employers looking to grow their workforce or the devastating increase in homelessness, the state is suffering on multiple levels.

There is no one policy that could solve all the state’s housing problems. But there are steps Connecticut could take this year that would address immediate concerns while laying the groundwork for more ambitious proposals in years to come.

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Sewer infrastructure bill would incentivize affordable housing for impoverished CT communities

State lawmakers are considering a proposal that would improve sewer systems in Connecticut communities where the poverty rate is less than 20%.

The bill would also incentivize affordable housing construction, which is often hindered by a lack of sewer infrastructure able to handle new apartments.

The measure, proposed by advocacy group Open Communities Alliance, would allow towns and cities to draw from a $50 million fund to improve sewer systems.

The program would help municipalities meet their affordable housing goals, according to Open Communities Alliance Executive Director Erin Boggs.

“In order to fulfill that obligation, if towns feel like having sewer infrastructure is critical to getting there, then our hope is that they'd be really enthusiastic about this availability of money,” Boggs said.

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Environmental protection or 'NIMBY tool'? Inland wetlands agencies growing site of CT housing fights

What happens when the need for affordable housing in an increasingly expensive state clashes with environmental concerns heightened by the arrival of climate change?

Local inland wetlands commission meetings get a lot more interesting.

Under Connecticut law, towns must regulate development affecting inland wetlands and watercourses, which they do through local agencies whose specific names and processes vary from place to place. And in one community after another, these agencies have been the sites of bitter housing debates, often derailing developments before they can even reach local zoning boards.

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Dan Haar: From housing to energy, Lamont spars with skeptics over his bright view of 2035 for CT

The year 2035 seems to come up a lot lately in conversations about the state of the state. A dozen years pushes us far enough out that we can imagine anything we want and yet it’s soon enough that we need to actually plan for it now. 

Visions of where we’ll be in that year — led by the optimist-in-chief, Gov. Ned Lamont — have led to sharp debates lately as the centrist governor absorbs jabs from the right on energy and taxes and from the left on social spending and affordable housing, as advocates gear up for another battle in the legislature to loosen towns' vice grip on zoning.

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Housing discrimination increases asthma symptoms in children, study finds

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that housing discrimination exacerbates asthma symptoms in children.

“In this census tract right here where we stand, there are 268 people out of every 10,000 who have asthma,” said Erin Boggs, a civil rights lawyer and executive director, Open Communities Alliance. “In Glastonbury [the next town over], the same statistic is seven out of 10,000.”

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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 



  • Open Communities Alliance
  • 75 Charter Oak Avenue
  • Suite 1-200
  • Hartford, CT 06106
  • Phone: 860-610-6040