UPDATE: Slossberg proposes legislation to address affordable housing (another new hearing date)

UPDATE: The hearing mentioned below has been rescheduled a second time and is now scheduled for March 1.

Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) has introduced language that she seeks to have amended to a bill before the General Assembly’s Housing Committee that aims to empower residents and prevent developers from forcing unreasonable housing developments into Connecticut communities.

“I am proposing common sense, reasonable changes that do not undermine the Affordable Housing Act, but provide a measure of fairness to communities that are subject to the act’s provisions,” said Senator Slossberg. “We need to promote the availability of diverse housing options, not allow developers to use our laws to push ill-advised construction projects. The proposed legislation does this by ensuring that all communities are treated equally, that residents are given a voice in the proceedings, and that new affordable housing units are placed on plots of land that are large enough to allow for the healthy lives of the people living there and their new neighbors.”

Slossberg’s proposed legislation has three components.

First, she is asking that the state’s housing appeals process not be used to place new housing units into small plots of land. Her legislation would prevent a developer from using the appellate procedure to construct housing units in a plot that is smaller than one acre.

Second, Slossberg aims to empower community members by ensuring that their testimony is given the same consideration in an appeals court as that of an expert brought in by the developer.

Finally, Slossberg would like to see Connecticut’s affordable housing statutes fixed to ensure that the compliance status of all communities is judged equally. Communities currently exempt from the affordable housing appeals procedure are judged based on the number of affordable housing units they have, as well as the number of government assisted housing units. However, government assisted housing units are not considered when a community applies for a moratorium. Slossberg said she would like this changed to make the process equal for all Connecticut communities.

The public hearing on this bill, initially expected Tuesday, Feb. 23, is now scheduled for March 1 in the Legislative Office Building, located at 300 Capitol Ave, in Hartford. (The time and location will be announced.) Slossberg is inviting Milford residents to join her in testifying. If someone cannot attend but would like to submit written testimony, it can be mailed to hsgtestimony@cga.ct.gov.