Gov. Malloy rolls out new affordable housing plan

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DARIEN -

Gov. Dannel Malloy has rolled out a new plan to make housing in Connecticut more affordable.

Darien is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. The town has built affordable housing before, including The Heights at Darien, but Malloy says it's not enough. He says he wants to force towns to change their zoning laws to encourage affordable housing, as well as multifamily units.

Currently, Malloy says about 60 percent of towns don't even mention affordable housing in their rules and that 95 percent of them require a special permit to build it.

"People need an affordable place to live," Malloy says. "You can add jobs and build in areas of transit -- which we are doing, by the way, quite successfully. But without an affordable place to live, we will not be able to truly grow our economy."

Affordable housing projects often receive pushback in places like Milford, where residents fought last year against 12 units on Seaside Avenue. Residents in Darien say they're worried about developers coming in and running roughshod over local zoning rules. But under the new plan, towns could lose state money if they do not change their zoning laws to encourage affordable housing.

Connecticut lawmakers would have to approve any changes to the state's zoning rules.

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