Housing Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6880

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING LAND USE APPEALS PROCEDURE.

Vote Date:

3/7/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/16/2017

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

The Housing Committee,

Rep. Brenda L. Kupchick, 132nd Dist.

Rep. Laura Devlin, 134th Dist.

Sen. Tony Hwang, 28th Dist.

Rep. Kim Rose, 118th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

In certain instances, housing developers use the affordable housing statute (8-30g) to circumvent local zoning and develop housing in areas in which a municipality deems inappropriate for living. On the other hand, many municipalities throughout Connecticut have not reached the affordable housing moratorium, which requires towns to reach ten percent of deed restricted housing stock.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Representative Toni Boucher; supports the bill. She is in favor of legislation that gives municipalities more control over the development of affordable housing units. She supports giving municipalities the ability to prevent certain developments that are at odds with a town's unique and historical character.

Representative Laura Devlin; supports the bill because it would provide more local control to develop affordable housing. This bill addresses a broader variety of housing options that would enable communities to develop affordable housing that meets the town's needs as well as the statute.

Representative Gail Lavielle; supports the bill stating that it effectively addresses the issue of obtaining a moratorium. She states that it would “lower the number of housing nit-equivalent points needed for a moratorium, expand the unit types that count towards a moratorium, and redefine median income for purposes of the incentive housing zone statutes.”

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Dominic Cotton, Volunteer, New London Coalition for the Homeless; supports bill. He believes mobile manufactured home parks should be counted allowing an additional form of housing that already exists to be counted with affordable housing as well as adding extra points for three bedroom units, which would give incentive to meet affordable housing needs, which he expressed is a useful tool for municipalities.

Kathryn Dube, Director of Membership and Legislative Services, Connecticut Council of Small Towns; supports the bill and efforts to ensure that progress continues to be made to provide affordable housing to residents, including senior housing.

Robert Frigo, Co-Chair, The Affordable Housing Committee of the Town of Fairfield; supports this bill in order to address predatory practices by developers “motivated purely by profit.” He supports nondiscriminatory statutes, which would allow senior citizens to remain in the community.

Mary Hogue, Chair, Fairfielders Protecting Land and Neighborhoods; supports this bill however, would like a clause to be added stating that “set aside developments shall be prohibited in all flood zones as defined by FEMA” as well as a clause prohibiting development in regulated areas and watersheds that provide active drinking water.

Urb Leimkuhler, Coordinating Director, Fairfield Senior Advocates; supports this bill because the current statute fails to address special concerns for affordable housing for the disabled at any age. They propose to add a provision requiring the statute to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Jan Reber, Resident, Fairfield; supports this bill however clauses should be added to better protect the environment as well as extend opportunities for affordable housing.

Eric Treaster, Resident, Ledyard; supports the proposal to increase the minimum number of affordable units. He suggests that 100% of units be affordable, 50 being the minimum.

Vicki Volper, Resident, Westport; supports the bill which would create more affordable housing so people who work in Westport can also afford to live there. She states the importance of maintaining the beauty and character of the town.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

David Fink, Consultant, Partnership for Strong Communities; opposes the bill. He is concerned that few buyers will move to towns and values will fall. He is against weakening of the current statute.

Richard Freeman, President, Garden Homes Management Corporation; opposes this bill. He submitted testimony with concerns that this bill would weaken this statute.

Melissa Macey-Kaplan, Connecticut Director, Regional Plan Association; opposes the bill with concerns of compromising the economy. She opposes any change to weaken the current statute, which she believes is critical to the state.

Reported by: Zoe Gluck

Date: 03/16/2017