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Connecticut Affordable Housing Bill Moves On To Lamont

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Jeff Roberson
/
AP

A bill on the desk of Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont would rewrite the state’s zoning code and is supposed to create more fair and equitable housing. 

The reform package requires cities and towns to allow more affordable housing. Sara Bronin is with Desegregate CT — the group behind the bill.

“This bill will enable a more diverse housing stock that will benefit a wide variety of Connecticut residents, including the elderly, young people, young families and people who are forced right now to live very far away from where they work simply because there’s no housing available in the area that they work,” Bronin said.

The bill was controversial as it made its way through the state general assembly — provoking hours of tense debate in public hearings. Critics said it will change the character of small towns, and constitutes an overreach of state government.

Alexis Harrison is with a group called CT 169 Strong, set up to oppose the bill.

“State mandates would not lead to more affordable housing, but rather to more decisions being made at the expense of each town’s characteristics, the environment, local infrastructure and even impede the successful affordable housing efforts in place by many of our 169 cities and towns in Connecticut,” Harrison said.

The bill was scaled down from its original language — which included the elimination of some local public hearings — and added a process by which towns could opt out of certain requirements, like numbers of parking spaces.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.