New Affordable Housing Requirements and How CME Can Help

Existing Law
C.G.S. 8-30G is a law in Connecticut that governs affordable housing land use appeals. It provides an exception to the standard land use approval process. Unless a Town finds substantial proof that if built, the project will have a significant impact on the health, safety or welfare of residents – the project must be approved. In most cases, conformance to zoning regulations for parking, setbacks and other standards are typically not required. Unless a town has sufficient affordable housing, it is subject to this burden.

New Law
In 2017, Public Act 17-170 was passed as an addendum to the existing law. All Towns are now required to prepare and adopt an “affordable housing plan”. The plan must specify how the municipality intends to increase the number of affordable housing developments within the municipality and is required to be updated every five years.

Why?
Unlike the State’s requirement that Towns have and maintain a Plan of Conservation and Development, the State has not tied the Affordable Housing Plan requirement to any financial penalties. So, while it may appear that this is simply another State mandate that can be largely ignored, Towns should consider the value-creating such an affordability plan can provide. Having a clear and concise document of the Town’s wants and needs when it comes to housing provides residents, developers, and regulatory Commissions a roadmap for how to approach potential housing opportunities. Furthermore, there is a good chance that having a plan in place will positively position the Town to receive discretionary State funding. When the State formally incorporates the requirement of this plan either into State Statue (as early as 2019) or in the grant criteria, there will not be enough time for Towns to develop these plans.

How CME Can Help!
CME has been actively involved in the initiatives and discussions surrounding affordable housing. We understand the goals of the Department of Housing and know that the General Assembly will likely impose additional requirements on Towns. Knowing that municipal resources are limited, we have developed a simple and efficient approach to Affordable Housing Plans. This will not only move your community’s vision forward but will also satisfy State requirements and keep you eligible for all possible funding opportunities.

For More Information, Contact:
John P. Guszkowski 
860-885-1055 x 2108
860-455-8252 (c)
jguszkowski@cmeengineering.com

Affordable Housing Requirement Brochure