Yes, In My Back Yard: A new approach to housing affordability could work in Connecticut
Dwight Merriam, Hartford Courant, June 2, 2019. Available here
A recent two-part series on exclusionary zoning in Connecticut exposed many of the challenges of creating real communities throughout our state and offered a picture of how local governments who want to achieve diversity can actually achieve it.
Real communities are inclusive places that make sure that all people — no matter how young or old or rich or poor — still have a place to call home.
Real communities are places where teachers, police and public safety personnel and people who grew up in their home towns and spent their lives there are not forced out because they can no longer afford it.
The best ways to break down the walls created by exclusionary zoning include:
· A state mandate requiring a certain number of affordable units and state funds withheld when towns fail to perform;
· Giving regional planning agencies the power to override local exclusionary practices; and
· Putting real teeth in the affordable housing land use appeals statute by requiring local governments to pay the legal fees of developers who win in court.
These solutions have not made it to the starting line because our state government lacks the political will to force local governments to do the right thing.
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