MD Rahman


MD Rahman



May 8, 2024

Senate Approves Wide-Ranging Bill to Encourage Housing Development

The Senate voted Wednesday to pass a wide-ranging bill on property law that encourages the development of housing in Connecticut and incentivizes municipalities to fast-track the approval of multi-family homes.

The proposal, House Bill 5474, passed the Senate on a 32 – 4 vote and now heads to the governor for consideration.

Senator MD Rahman, Senate Chair of the Planning and Development Committee, led Wednesday’s debate on the Senate floor.

“Today’s vote represents a step forward in our ongoing effort to expand housing opportunities for Connecticut residents,” Senator Rahman, D-Manchester, said. “By removing bureaucratic barriers to residential development, we are working to address a housing shortage in order to make sure that everyone has a roof over their heads.”

The bill, which includes concepts from the Majority Leaders Affordable Housing Roundtable, will encourage the creation of multi-family homes by eliminating red tape that often stalls residential developments.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, called housing an economic driver in Connecticut and said that state policymakers needed to address the ongoing shortage.

“The action that we need to take in order to move our state forward with more housing has to be done and has to be done at a rapid pace,” Senator Duff said. “We can no longer just inch along in our state, we’ve got to move by feet and by miles.”

Another section of the bill will streamline and simplify the process of converting closed nursing home facilities into housing developments.

The proposal includes a section meant to encourage the use of state surplus land for housing by requiring the Department of Housing to prioritize plans to construct homes for low and moderate income residents.

The bill contains a new requirement that landlords provide at least 45 days’ written notice prior to increasing the rent on a tenant.

Towns and cities would gain the authority to require licenses to operate short-term rental properties, under the bill, which would also permit municipalities to adopt short-term rental regulations.

These tools will help regulate the prevalence of short-term rentals like Airbnbs, which have increasingly removed residential properties from the housing market and decreased local housing stock.

The bill also empowers municipalities with more tools to combat blight, by creating new civil penalties based on the square footage of the affected properties. Another provision allows towns and cities to impose liens for unpaid zoning violations.