As Connecticut has the sixth-highest median monthly housing costs, some residents and lawmakers are fiercely pursuing measures to prevent developers from building affordable housing units in their towns.
Renee Dobos, chief executive officer of Connecticut Housing Partners, told The Center Square that more than 30 years ago the General Assembly recognized steps should be taken to lead towns to recognize they have a responsibility to make housing affordable to essential workers, senior citizens, and a wide variety of others with diverse incomes.
Renters in Connecticut are short on options with prices soaring.
“Currently, Connecticut has a shortage of 85,000 units of affordable housing for those families that earn an income of 80% or below the AMI,” Renée Dobos, CEO of Connecticut Housing Partners, told The Center Square. AMI is an acronym for area medium income.
Democrats in Connecticut’s state House of Representatives are offering legislation they say will facilitate affordable housing and “racial justice,” though opponents of the measures say they will merely hamper local control of development.
One bill would mandate that municipalities permit housing containing a minimum of 15 dwelling units per acre within half-mile radiuses of rail stations. At least 10 percent of the units in such areas would be required to meet the state’s definition of affordable housing, i.e. that it costs an occupant no more than one third of his or her annual income.