OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 156

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the Department of Housing (DOH) commissioner to prepare an annual fair housing report in consultation with other state agencies that provide housing and, when possible, relevant federal agencies. The report must:

1. include a comprehensive list of state- and federally subsidized project based housing developments in Connecticut;

2. include the results, by income level, of a housing needs assessment; and

3. identify annual geographical targets based on opportunity areas, as well as the annual achievement under those targets.

The report must also include (1) certain information on residents who voluntarily provide it to the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) or DOH when the agencies collect data to meet their statutory reporting requirements and (2) the results of affirmative fair housing marketing plans, which by law entities applying to DOH or CHFA for financial assistance must submit for approval.

The commissioner must submit the fair housing report to the General Assembly annually by March 31, together with the department's annual activity report.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2016

LIST OF SUBSIDIZED HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS

The bill requires DOH to divide the list of subsidized project-based housing developments into two types of units: (1) those owned by the state or federal government and (2) those supported by other subsidy attached to the project. For each housing development, the list must include or identify:

1. the development's name, as well as the name of the developer and management company;

2. location by physical address and census tract;

3. affordability income requirements;

4. number of units and bedrooms per unit;

5. population served, including elderly, non-age restricted, disability, or supportive;

6. the program through which the development is assisted and the amount and type of assistance, including loan, mortgage, or rental assistance;

7. the years assistance is received; and

8. the purpose for which assistance is used, including new construction, substantial rehabilitation, or reconstruction.

HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Existing law requires DOH to (1) monitor progress in the public and private sectors in meeting the state's housing needs and (2) collect and annually publish data on housing production in the state. The bill requires the DOH commissioner to include in the annual fair housing report the results, by income level, of the housing needs assessment conducted pursuant to these requirements. (The law, however, does not explicitly require DOH to conduct such an assessment.)

GEOGRAPHICAL TARGETS BASED ON OPPORTUNITY AREAS

Under the bill, the annual fair housing report must identify (1) “annual geographical targets,” undefined by the bill, based on opportunity areas, and (2) the annual achievement under those targets. The bill defines “opportunity areas” as those areas designated as such using opportunity mapping analysis that incorporates a census tract-level assessment of educational, economic, and neighborhood characteristics, including education data and crime rates.

INFORMATION ON RESIDENTS

To comply with their annual reporting requirements, DOH and CHFA collect certain data on residents who voluntarily provide it (see BACKGROUND). The bill requires DOH to include this information in the fair housing report, though it does not specify how the department will obtain CHFA's data.

The fair housing report must protect individual privacy; it cannot identify residents by name. Instead, it (1) the development's name, physical address, and census tract and (2) individualized identification numbers for tenant households.

For resident data, the fair housing report must identify:

1. household familial status, specifically the number of children and ages;

2. whether any household member has a disability; and

3. for each head of household, (a) race, (b) gender, (c) ethnicity, (d) income, and (e) marital status.

AFFIRMATIVE FAIR HOUSING MARKETING PLANS

The law generally requires entities receiving assistance from DOH or CHFA to (1) affirmatively promote fair housing in their housing developments and (2) submit an affirmative fair housing marketing plan for approval. The plans must have provisions for recruiting residents of municipalities with relatively high minority populations.

The bill requires that the fair housing report include the results of affirmative fair housing marketing (though it incorrectly references CGS 8-37bb). Specifically, the report must measure the progress of affirmative fair housing marketing plan targets over one-, five-, and 10-year periods. (Existing law, however, does not require that affirmative fair housing marketing plans set targets.)

BACKGROUND

Annual Housing Reports Providing Household Information

By law, CHRO must submit a report to the Housing Committee annually by December 31 that, among other things, (1) analyzes, by income and race, households served by its programs; (2) identifies, by census tract, the number of households served by its programs and the total amount of financial assistance provided; and (3) documents its efforts in promoting fair housing choice and racial and economic integration (CGS 8-37bb).

In its annual activity report to the legislature, DOH must include data on its state-funded housing development portfolio. For each housing project, the report must provide an analysis, by income group, of households served by the department's housing programs. It must include the number of households served under each program by race and a summary of the department's efforts in promoting fair housing choice and racial and economic integration, including data on the racial composition of the occupants and people on a waiting list for state housing (CGS 8-37qqq).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Housing Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

11

Nay

0

(03/08/2016)