New study examines barriers to multifamily housing in CT towns

Ginny Monk | CT Mirror

In at least 12 Connecticut towns, there are major impediments to building multifamily housing that’s affordable, and many of these barriers exist in the name of preserving the towns’ character, a new study says.

The study from the Open Communities Alliance examines zoning policy and land use in East Lyme, Farmington, Guilford, Monroe, New Canaan, North Branford, Old Saybrook, Shelton, Simsbury, Stonington, Wallingford and Weston.

Some of the barriers outlined in the report include rules requiring developers to get special permission from planning and zoning commissions for multi-family housing, age restrictions on affordable housing that make it difficult for families with children to obtain housing, and a focus on large-lot single-family homes in predominantly white neighborhoods.


The report suggests what’s called a “fair share” policy as a possible solution to the lack of affordable housing. The policy would assess the need on a regional basis, then require towns to plan and zone for a certain number of affordable housing units.

House Bill 5204 proposes such a policy. It was approved by the Housing Committee last month.

“It’s clear that we need to do a lot more to promote more inclusive housing across all kinds of towns in Connecticut,” Boggs said in an interview.

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