Biden Infrastructure Plan Could Crack Down On Connecticut's Exclusionary Zoning

Apr 16, 2021

President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal plans to address exclusionary zoning and encourage more affordable housing, which could have an effect in Connecticut, where exclusionary zoning measures are common.

Exclusionary zoning and affordable housing have been the center of attention lately. Sara Bronin is a UCONN law school professor and the founder of Desegregate CT, and is an expert in land use.

“It looks like the way that President Biden is structuring that infrastructure plan is to do it in the form of incentives and to try to create links between progress made on exclusionary zoning and infrastructure investments that will be granted by the federal government,” Bronin said.

Bronin said it’s not clear yet how Biden would incentivize affordable housing in the state.

“One of the things we do know, though, is that Connecticut has very exclusionary zoning,” Bronin said.

This week, Governor Ned Lamont announced nearly $50 million to help develop hundreds of units of affordable housing in cities and towns. Bronin said that’s a good start.

“The truth is Connecticut is so far behind housing production compared to the rest of the country that we need to do far more than subsidize a small number of units,” Bronin said.

Bronin said the state also needs to change zoning laws to allow more housing production. 

You can hear more on how residents and city planners see the future of affordable housing in Connecticut on WSHU’s “The Full Story” Friday night at 7 p.m.