OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5340

AN ACT CONCERNING THE REPLACEMENT OF HOUSING PROJECTS BY HOUSING AUTHORITIES.

SUMMARY:

The law generally prohibits housing authorities that have received state assistance from selling, leasing, transferring, or destroying a housing project if the project would no longer be available for low- or moderate-income rental housing. However, the Department of Housing (DOH) commissioner may approve the action if she finds, after a public hearing, that various conditions are met. This bill expands the requirements under one of these conditions; it leaves the others unchanged (see BACKGROUND).

Currently, to approve such an action, the commissioner must find that an adequate supply of low- or moderate-income rental housing exists in the municipality where the housing project is located. The bill additionally requires that this rental housing be affordable to households in the same income groups as those that last occupied the project. Under the bill, housing is “affordable” when individuals or families pay no more than 30% of their annual income for it.

The bill similarly requires that the commissioner, in deciding whether to grant an approval, consider the extent to which the project's housing units will be replaced with housing that is affordable to households in the same income groups as those that last occupied the project.

The bill defines “income groups” in the same way that the law on fair housing choice and racial and economic integration does. The five income groups are those with household incomes:

1. equal to 25% or less than the area median income (AMI);

2. greater than 25%, but not more than 50% of the AMI;

3. greater than 50%, but not more than 80% of the AMI;

4. greater than 80%, but not more than 100% of the AMI; and

5. greater than 100% of the AMI (CGS 8-37aa).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

BACKGROUND

Conditions Required for Approval to Sell, Lease, Transfer, or Destroy a Housing Project

In addition to finding that an adequate supply of low- or moderate-income rental housing exists in the municipality where the housing project is located, the commissioner must find that:

1. the action is in the best interest of the state and the municipality;

2. the housing authority developed the plan in consultation with the project residents and municipal representatives, and made adequate provision for the residents' and representatives' participation in the plan; and

3. anyone who is displaced by the action will receive assistance under the Uniform Relocation Assistance Act (URAA) and will (a) be relocated to a comparable public or subsidized housing dwelling unit in the municipality or (b) receive a tenant-based rental subsidy.

Subject to certain conditions, the URAA requires municipalities to pay relocation assistance benefits when they displace people from their homes.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Housing Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

7

Nay

4

(03/08/2016)