Advocates: Law could make it harder to find affordable housing

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FAIRFIELD -

Some housing advocates say a new state law could make it even harder to find affordable housing.

David Rich, who runs Supportive Housing Works in Fairfield, says he's worried about the law that relaxes affordable housing rules for affluent towns like Fairfield. Currently, if less than 10 percent of a town's housing is considered "affordable," developers can skirt most zoning rules.

"We have an issue with predatory developers," says state Rep. Kim Rose (D-Milford), adding that the issue has led to huge projects popping up in neighborhoods and towns having no ability to stop them.

State lawmakers voted Monday night to relax the requirements on towns, and more types of homes now qualify as "affordable."

Rich says he worries that wealthy towns will use restrictive zoning laws as an excuse to keep out cheaper housing.

Towns like Fairfield say the new law actually gives them more flexibility to bring in affordable apartments. The towns will have to submit a plan to the state every five years showing what they're doing to make that happen.

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