New bill seeks to create more affordable housing in Connecticut

Lawmakers are seeking to pass a bill to change zoning regulations and create more affordable housing in Connecticut.

News 12 Staff

Mar 20, 2021, 5:03 PM

Updated 1,121 days ago

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Lawmakers are seeking to pass a bill to change zoning regulations and create more affordable housing in Connecticut.
Connecticut is known for quaint New England charm - if you can afford it. Zoning rules are so strict in many towns that it's nearly impossible to build affordable housing.
State lawmakers want to relax those rules. A new bill would end caps on the number of small multifamily units.
The bill also scales back size requirements for apartments and the number of parking spots, and it steers development around train and bus stations.
"You'll hear from young people who can't afford to get places of their own; older people who want to age in place. People of color shut out from high opportunity areas or isolated in overwhelmingly white towns," says Sara Bronin, of Desegregate CT.
Critics worry that towns will lose their charm and crowded with new apartments.
"I see it as increase in density, increase in supply," says state Sen. Tony Hwang.
"There's no public input within those areas, and not having a local voice in this is, I think, incredibly heavy-handed by the state," says Rep. Tami Zawistowski.
Gov. Ned Lamont says he hopes to work with towns, but he's open to the bill.
"We're strongly supportive of more affordable housing, more diversity of housing - not just in our cities, but in our towns," says Lamont.
Even with Lamont backing this idea, it's still an uphill battle. Many Democrats in Hartford represent the suburbs - where this idea is not popular with homeowners.


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