A lack of appetite for zoning reform has advocates, legislators regrouping

Ginny Monk | CT Mirror

Despite five years of advance notice that Connecticut towns would have to submit affordable housing plans by June 1, less than half of them made the deadline.

The deadline — established by a 2017 law that requires such plans every five years —marked an important date for affordable housing advocates in Connecticut.

As of Thursday, just 46% of the state’s towns had submitted plans to the Office of Policy and Management. Nineteen percent of the towns “proactively notified” the office that they wouldn’t meet the deadline and provided an anticipated date.


The bills — House Bills 5429 and 5204 — sought to tackle what experts have long said are restrictive local zoning laws. These laws make it harder for developers to build multifamily housing, particularly in many of Connecticut’s suburban towns.


The other major piece of zoning reform legislation last session would have required the state’s Office of Policy and Management to assess the need for affordable housing regionally in Connecticut. Then, towns would share the responsibility to plan and zone for that need.

A town’s share would have been determined by its wealth, median income compared to nearby towns, percentage of housing stock that’s multifamily, and the poverty rate. That bill was voted out of committee, but didn’t get a vote on the House or Senate floors.


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