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Photo of Senator Gayle Slossberg.

STATE SENATOR

Gayle Slossberg

Always On Your Side

Working to Reform Affordable Housing Law

Earlier this month I welcomed a large group of Milford and Orange residents to testify in Hartford for SB 535, a bill I introduced to empower residents and prevent developers from forcing unreasonable housing developments into Connecticut communities.

As many of you know, current law allows unscrupulous housing developers to use the 8-30g housing statute to force approval of housing developments that had previously been reviewed and denied through the traditional zoning process. I have worked for several years to reform this broken process. This year I was made a Co-Chair of the Housing Committee, a position I hope to use to finally fix Connecticut's affordable housing statute.

row of housing

Senate Bill 535 would make a number of revisions that seek to establish a more equitable affordable housing system in Connecticut. This bill would:

  • prevent a developer with poor financial standing in the community due to unpaid taxes from submitting an affordable housing application;
  • require that all 8-30g applications are reviewed by a panel of three judges, allowing for more fair and balanced decisions;
  • deny 8-30g applications that would result in the construction of high-density housing in a low-density neighborhood; and,
  • stop automatic approval of 8-30g applications that would impact a historic district.

This law establishes 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. We need to continue promoting the creation of affordable housing options in our state, but not allow developers to use existing statutes to force the approval of ill-advised construction projects. We heard from many residents of Milford and other communities at the recent public hearing who know all too well that the current housing law is being exploited by greedy developers. This law eliminates loopholes to ensure our state is better equipped to promote the original goals of the Affordable Housing Act.