Boucher supports bill that would alter affordable housing rules

A bill filed last week with the Legislative Commissioner’s Office would, in the words of its supporters, give towns more control over the affordable housing process. Wilton’s state Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) lent her support to HB 6880 when she testified before the housing committee last month.

The Affordable Housing Appeals Process, known as general statute 8-30g, allows, she said, housing developers to “override municipal planning and zone laws if a town’s affordable housing stock is less than 10%.

“While many new affordable housing units have been developed since the statute was revised, the appeals procedure has also caused consternation in many towns, since it allows developers to override local zoning boards, and to construct new housing units without regard to the town’s development plan,” she testified.

Boucher noted many towns seek relief from affordable housing applications through a statutory four-year moratorium, which can be granted to municipalities with enough “housing unit equivalent points.” Wilton has such a moratorium now, as do Berlin, Farmington, Darien, and Ridgefield. Brookfield plans to apply for a moratorium.

HB 6880 would make it easier for towns to qualify for a moratorium by:

  • Expanding the variety of units that count toward the moratorium;

  • Lowering the number of points needed;

  • Allowing towns extra points for certain types of units.

The text of the bill may be read here.