C O N S I D E R I N G T H A
T N O T H I N G I
N C O N N E C T I C U T I
S A F F O R D A B L E . . .
THE TWO CONNECTICUTS
The second of four panel discussions at University of Hartford on...housing. Here is a link to Regionalism (#4).
Setting the table...
FORM BASED ZONING CODES - AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEFINITION DIFFERENT IN CT 169 TOWNS
New Rochelle example. CT is discriminatory in zoning (Karen, 3rd
speaker). New Jersey "fair share" affordable housing law.
Pandemic favored high end housing market.
Developers follow the path of least resistance.
THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE
Section 8 vouchers - government effort. 30% max. spent (Sec. 8)
for renting subsidized for housing. Public transportation,
location of jobs and services, etc. needed.
Support of housing vouchers for other towns (not just, for example, the
footprint of home community). Legislature did not call this bill
AUDIENCE QUESTIONS: Answers, too.
- How do you get more diverse? Speak up. Be an advocate.
- Is 8-30g working? Opt-out??? Property taxes?
- Why doesn't CT take away zoning power? Accessory apartments? Bronin: CT doesn't build enough housing.
do you keep affordable housing home ownership affordable? Avoid
gentrification. Deed restrict. Redevelopment without
- Land banking? Inclusionary zoning? Cautions that private market can go away. Government subsidizes upper - why not lower.
- Why exclude ADUs as affordable? Did not answer.
- Security deposits? Use pandemic funds for housing.
Community Land Trust - could this work in CT?
FROM ACIR: https://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=17531Desegregate CT TOP TEN
Small towns discussed the issue of septic/sewer.
- Accessory Housing.
- Middle housing 50 feet from transportation hub (zone to allow it)
- 10% of housing "new types" for "housing diversity"
- Parking requirements
- Standardize procedures
- Land Use training.
- Eliminate "character (of the community)" words
- Develop model zoning guidelines (form-based)
- Cap fees.
- Modernize traffic and sewer standards.
Ranking Member Sen. Hwang, CT Commissioner Mosquira-Bruno & Senate and House Chairs.
Virtual meeting: We watched the Housing Committee's Monday meeting.
Sen. Hwang on healing, 2020.
THE LATEST PUSH: https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-connecticut-zoning-segregation-20200614-dkwbi7gfkjckflh7lrjg2kgdai-story.html
DEVELOPER IN WESTPORT MATTER BELOW TRIED TO SAVE G&B
LOOKS LIKE 8-30g MAY BE IN WINGS...
CT FAIR HOUSING: ELDERLY AND DISABLED: We will provide a link to this meeting (watching it live now)
Nice presentation so far...
CT MIRROR series on Housing continues...
CT MIRROR series on wealth-income inequality-housing
Link to all articles in this series: https://ctmirror.org/category/extreme-inequality-connecticuts-wealth-dilemma/
So it isn't just Weston!
Read story here: https://www.greenwichtime.com/business/article/Census-new-home-sales-plunge-in-Northeast-13332467.php
CT MIRROR random series....
Rep. Porter quoted as well as the Governor himself.
And Governor Malloy, too. " In an interview with the
CT Mirror last month, Malloy said he believes people should be able to
live in the communities where they work, and that 'It’s not good for us
as a society to live in communities strictly of poverty and strictly of
About Town interviewee David Fink (2007), quoted.
" Fink, the PSC consultant, said there’s a mismatch of
housing stock available in Connecticut—most towns have an abundance of
single family homes but not enough buyers.
"Fink said according to Malloy’s budget office, the grand list
residential property went down or remained flat in 151 of the state’s
169 municipalities from 2008 through 2017.
“'Here’s why that’s so important—all of these towns, about 90 percent of
their revenue comes from property taxes, no sales tax, no local income
tax,' Fink said. 'You have a situation in Connecticut where there’s too
many sellers and not enough buyers, therefore the value of property
falls, the grand list shrinks, and municipalities either have to raise
taxes or cut services.'”
For full story: https://ctmirror.org/2018/10/16/wealth-income-inequality-housing/
A new wrinkle in opposition by neighbor groups?
DEEDS ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMITMENT:
PASSED THE HOUSE WITH ONE STICK REMOVED
But does it really say anything??? Does the bill specifically state the "2 of 3 items" anyplace?
“'...This critical vote by the House of Representatives is
the first step toward enacting reasonable zoning reform in the State of
Connecticut,' said Evonne M. Klein, the state housing commissioner.
'It’s no secret that our state remains one of the most segregated in the
nation. By ensuring our zoning laws better reflect the needs of our
towns and cities, our residents will have greater access to
"Only 20 of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns allow multi-family
housing, which is defined as three or more units, as a right under their
zoning regulations, two dozen bar it and the rest allow housing of
three or more units by special permit.
"The bill requires zoning regulations to provide for, rather than
encourage, a variety of housing development opportunities to meet local
and regional needs. It eliminates a requirement the regulations be made
to consider the “character” of a district, an ambiguous phrase..."
From the CT MIRROR article 4-25-18.
What is the difference between zoning violations and other illegal activity?
H'mmm...could it be that Democrats don't think the law applies to everyone equally?
From a longer Stamford ADVOCATE article on zoning violations in Stamford, Dec. 9, 2017:
"...Simmons said working on zoning enforcement is one reason she will
run for a third two-year term in 2018. In October she married Republican
state Sen. Art Linares of Westbrook after a very public proposal - he
took out a full-page ad in the Stamford Advocate that read, 'Dear
Caroline, Will you marry me?'
"Simmons said she will maintain her Stamford apartment and continue to serve the 144th District.
"'I know other cities are facing zoning violations as well, but I think
because of increasing growth in Stamford and the increasing number of
people moving here, it’s a bigger challenge'.”
LOW-HANGING FRUIT DEPT.: That would be recycling - ideas and mandates...affordable housing, (8-30g) too?
2018 SESSION GETS ROLLING...https://www.cga.ct.gov/2018/TOB/h/pdf/2018HB-05045-R00-HB.pdf
Are they contradicting last year's "simplification" of interpretation of
non-conformity? Is the C.G.A. being asked to say, for example,
Cobb's Mill Inn may have a problem if there is no attempt to re-open it
as a restaurant?
We will be following this "Fair Housing" change to statutes on zoning
closely. Too early to tell what it might bring in JF format,
But more important is this - FYI sub-section (a) is the traditional zoning language - our reading
is much of what Weston's Subdivision Regulations say regarding
protections to wells and septics are now being integrated into Zoning
THE 2017 SESSION'S HOUSING BILLS
AN EFFORT TO ENGAGE IN BIPARTISAN LEGISLATING?
Sen. Hwang (not shown) on Housing Committee; Sen. Slossberg, thoughtful legislator, says veto "shortsighted."
Full article from CT MIRROR here:
"Malloy’s veto drew mixed reactions from legislators. Sen. Gayle
Slossberg, D-Milford, one of the bill’s major advocates, called it
“'Although the legislature clearly heard our voices, the governor
clearly could not,' she wrote on Facebook. "'His veto action will
undermine our efforts and those across the state to encourage
communities to embrace affordable housing in a thoughtful way'.”
Veto statement by Governor: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/malloy_vetoes_changes_to_affordable_housing_law/
Public Act No. 17-170 - https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/act/pa/2017PA-00170-R00HB-06880-PA.htm
We asked, was this bill for real? Will the Governor sign it prior to hell freezing over?
As it progressed this Session: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB06880&which_year=2017
VACANT PROPERTIES IN WESTON IN MARCH 2020:
Property Rounds: Underwater homes a stubborn problem
Stamford ADVOCATE, June 14, 2017
HOUSING CHOICE AND ECONOMIC GROWTH...
A R T N E R S H I P F O R S T R O N
G C O M M U N I T I E S P A N E L ,
F E B . 2 7 , 2 0 1 7
MARKET HOUSING STUDY FROM HARVARD
- Regulations increase the price of housing.
- People are moving because of price of housing now.
- Comment from audience: Taxes higher in North Carolina. Very affordable in CT!!! But regs are uniform.
- Huge variation among local towns but his study didn't examine this issue that way.
SUBURBAN STRATEGY OR DENSITY STRATEGY: First question for panel.
Are we a victim of our own success?
- Cities cannot support - in free-fall (slow growth)
- Huge challenge. Wealth generation.
- Growth policy the issue.
- Cost of living here by comparison to other parts of the country. Renting v. ownership.
- Coldwell doing housing strategy in WestCOG.
- U.I. - infrastructure - density important. Electricity and natural gas.
- Non-profit is a growth industry.
- Bought her first house recently but couldn't afford to many
communities (New Haven). Banks didn't want to lend because it was a
Property Tax system that supports enrollment the answer?
- Coldwell guy on a P&Z story - time allowed for waiting around
on subdivision process. Zoning Commission are varied by who is on them.
- Coldwell guy thinks cost - Joe asks is it is the regs?
- What can we do right now? Hundred different things driving people away.
- Density brings lower income? (McGee).
- "Main Street" downtowns to increase density is an idea.
- Danbury study; planning tools to calculate how many school children rentals produce?
- 26 per acre density housing can't get financing. Need higher density???
- Financial situation of the elderly makes for a broader conversation.
- Traffic slowing growth.
- Developers building to the market
- High wage and low wage jobs growing.
- Digital talent needed and CT not doing this.
- Do we change tax structure to help pay off student debt? (5 yrs. 50% of debt)
- Do businesses follow talent...incentivized??? If you want to make it you have to be mobile.
- REGIONAL SOLUTION. Target behavior directly.
- 8-30g - Coldwell guy comment: Attitudes.
- Retraining not a go - from Hartford. Homeowner. CT set up for tenants not landlords.
- Multi-family industry: No help for the middle (Windsor) likes
suburbs. Grown children leave because they want to earn $$. People
don't stay on more than a few years.
- Litigation environment. Comprehensive plan. Education equity. New Haven. A stepchild to Boston.
HUD releases vouchers for residents of Thames River Apartments
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday
released $1.28 million to fund housing vouchers and relocate the
residents of the troubled Thames River Apartments...
Story in full: http://www.theday.com/local-news/20171127/hud-releases-vouchers-for-residents-of-thames-river-apartments
OCT. 2017 - LATEST: http://www.theday.com/local-news/20171004/hud-approves-disposition-of-thames-river-apartments
New London: http://www.theday.com/local/20170623/report-indicates-little-value-for-crystal-avenue-site
APARTMENT TOWERS FOR PUBLIC HOUSING...NOT A HAPPY HISTORY. (R) Data from news report some years ago.
Consider the recent fire case of London apartment block; Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis. Father Panik Village...we'd bet NLHA first three projects are high rises.
Affordable housing and the city's future
Brian Lockhart, CT POST
Published 1:21 am, Monday, September 23, 2013
BRIDGEPORT -- It's only 74 mixed-income rental units on 2.5 acres in the
state's largest city, population 146,000, but it could affect the
future of Bridgeport.
"It's a small site. We're not trying to overwhelm it," Sharon Lee, the
Bridgeport Housing Authority's development manager, told the crowd
gathered recently in Shiloh Baptist Church.
They were there to learn about the authority's latest proposal for the
vacant land at 375 Main St., off lower Broad Street by the train
tracks. As Lee said, it's a small site. But she and Sharon
Ebert, the authority's director of planning and development, also made
it clear Wednesday their agency's reputation and future city
redevelopment are riding on what they build on those 2.5 acres.
It's the first of several private/public partnerships the authority is
pursuing to replace its aging, 2,600-unit housing stock with the
mixed-income model and -- they hope -- ultimately change perceptions
about those properties and who moves in. Lee said Bridgeport is
the only city in Connecticut that has not remade its public housing...read story in full at CT POST.
FROM CT EXPERT ON HOUSING/POPULATION CHANGE
SPECIAL SESSION OF ISLAND COUNTY PC - note that the planning process
looks great on paper, but hot topics blow up there even more than in
State of Washington has Counties. Link to Island County Planning Commission: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Planning/Pages/planningcomm.aspx
Island County memo: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Planning/Planning%20Commission%20Documents/13114%20-%2011-13-17%20PC%20-%20Staff%20Memo.pdf
OWNERSHIP V. RENTAL HOUSING: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/report_finds_that_connecticuts_housing_market_is_changing_11_30_2017/
SURPRISE! Research show that home ownership favors the non-poor!
From the CT MIRROR: https://ctmirror.org/2017/10/09/gap-between-buying-and-renting-a-home-in-ct-widens/
How long does this keep going? Until the CT Supreme Court decides.
This fine full story notes that this 8-30g goes back seven (7) years.
Reminds me of this one. But only in the length of time - they both started around the same time. Two totally different fact cases.
ZONING AND SPECIAL PERMITS PLUS WHO'S GOT A TRAFFIC STUDY? AND ANOTHER?
"Spot zoning" by any other name? But then, I have never
liked the "Special Permit" process...and the joke of "traffic studies"
is that once you have reached the worst limits on capability of roads
and intersections to accomodate it - who's responsibility to improve the
situation is it???
“...'This is the worst intersection in town and cannot handle any more
traffic — I cannot begin to fathom the tremendous delays that a housing
development would have on that already horrific and dangerous
intersection' noted one comment from Public Hearing.”
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE LINKING POVERTY AND HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS - NOT THE WHOLE STORY