Towns Take More Control Over Affordable Housing Development

Instead of waiting for developers to come into town with plans for affordable housing, some Connecticut towns are taking advantage of a statewide grant program that helps establish zones for high density and affordable housing.
September 2, 2009, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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Cities in the state are finding it more effective to dictate where affordable housing can go, as opposed to simply reacting to development plans with calls for certain affordable housing requirements.

"Historically, that philosophy has been a hard sell for proponents of affordable housing. Most communities have strongly resisted such housing, even in the face of a state law that eases the way for developers if less than 10 percent of a town's housing stock qualifies as affordable.

Although the law is routinely criticized for overriding local density restrictions, few municipalities have acted on their own to plan for affordable housing.

Now, as concern grows that high housing costs and lagging job growth are driving young people out of the state, towns have lined up to take advantage of the year-old grant program - called the Housing Program for Economic Growth, or HOMEConnecticut."

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Published on Friday, August 28, 2009 in The New York Times
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