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.

Boggs is unaware of any previous proposal of this kind, considering most sewer infrastructure aid comes from the federal government.

“What we're trying to create here is a special fund to make sure that there's no barrier for towns who have an affordable housing obligation that they are not able to get done,” Boggs said.

The program is voluntary, but would incentivize more affordable housing production, according to Hugh Bailey, a policy consultant with Open Communities Alliance.

“This is an opt-in policy, so nobody would be coming into town and laying down sewers down your street without your approval, but it would be an option that's available,” Bailey said.


Sewer infrastructure bill would incentivize affordable housing for impoverished CT communities, Abigail Brone, Connecticut Public Radio, February 12, 2024, available here

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