CT advocates call for zoning reform to encourage affordable housing developments

Back • Publication Date: January 17, 2024 • Health & Housing

Housing advocates are once again calling on Connecticut lawmakers to change restrictive zoning laws and promote affordable housing development.

Their newest report, “Fostering Stable Homes: Tackling Housing Displacement For a Stronger Connecticut,” explores the state’s struggle to keep up with the demand for affordable housing.

According to author Dr. Samaila Adelaiye, only 2% of zoned land in the state is designated for multifamily housing with more than four units.

In comparison, 62% of the state’s zoned land is approved for single-family homes.

“Historically, these regulations intentionally limit growth, emphasizing large homes and significant parking requirements, resulting in underutilized residential land and intensified competition for limited housing units; consequently driving prices upward,” Adelaiye said.

Connecticut Voices for Children is one of several statewide groups that have repeatedly called for more affordable housing, citing the state’s shortage of multifamily housing, as well as the widening gap between housing costs and income levels.

Emily Byrne, the organization’s executive director, said the state’s residents are often left cost burdened by housing.

“The median rent in Connecticut is $1,374 and the median home value in Connecticut is $323,700,” Byrne said. “Meanwhile, the median income in Connecticut is $90,213 pre-taxes. When we break down income by race, we know that Connecticut’s white residents earn an average of $98,855 per year. However, Black residents earn $59,728 and Latino residents earn $56,787 on average per year.”

The report called on state legislators to make affordable housing development easier, require all of the state’s municipalities to support it and protect against excessive rent increases, among other things.

Authors: Molly Ingram •  Source: WSHU • View