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State Senator

Gayle Slossberg

Representing Milford, Orange, West Haven & Woodbridge

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Slossberg: Malloy’s Veto the Wrong Choice for Connecticut

Senator responds to Governor’s veto of bipartisan 8-30g reform

Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) released the following statement in response to Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s veto of HB 6880, a reform to the 8-30g affordable housing statute which received an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 30-6 in the Senate and 116-33 in the House of Representatives:

“People in Milford and across Connecticut have been calling for common-sense reforms to our affordable housing statutes, and I am deeply disappointed that Governor Malloy has chosen to ignore them. The Governor’s veto message shows a real lack of understanding of the specific workings of this statute and of the need for reform. Connecticut is the only state that allows private developers to site their developments wherever they choose. States that do not give this disproportionate power to housing developers have been much more successful than Connecticut in developing affordable housing.

“This bill would have made critical changes to the threshold needed to qualify for a moratorium. Since the inception of our affordable housing law, no midsize city has ever succeeded in meeting this threshold. In fact, of the 131 municipalities that are eligible for a moratorium, only six small towns have been able to achieve it. Milford would need to build more than 700 new housing units in a 4-year period to qualify for a moratorium. That has never happened in the history of Connecticut, even in the best of economic times. It is clear that the current threshold is unattainable for the vast majority of Connecticut municipalities and is in need of reform. Governor Malloy’s veto message indicates a superficial understanding of the actual experience communities have with this statute and the threshold levels. I am deeply disappointed that Governor Malloy chose to veto this bill rather than respect the call for 8-30g reform by Connecticut residents and municipal leaders.”

The bill that passed in the General Assembly made several critical reforms that would restore the ability of communities like Milford to make sound planning decisions. First, the bill made Ryder Woods, a mobile home community, count toward Milford’s application for an affordable housing moratorium. Including this affordable, livable community recognizes the reality of housing opportunities in Milford and will bring the city very close to securing a moratorium.

Second, the bill made affordable housing moratoriums more achievable for midsize cities. The current threshold to qualify for a moratorium is 2 percent, this bill lowers that threshold to 1.5 percent. While this goal is still very difficult to attain, lowering the threshold recognizes that it was set at an unattainable level, placing communities of this size at great hardship.

Third, midsize cities like Milford would have been able to get a 5-year moratorium for their second moratorium instead of the current four years. This would allow Milford and similar communities the time to ensure their housing stock is kept at target levels to qualify for future moratoriums.

Additionally, the bill would:

  • Lower the amount of ‘Housing Unit Equivalency’ (HUE) points a municipality must attain before a moratorium can be declared from 75 to 50;
  • Award bonus HUE points for family units that contain at least three bedrooms, elderly units when 60 percent of an affordable housing completion certificate is tied to family housing, and family units located within an Incentive Housing Zone (IHZ);
  • Count affordable housing that is developed in an IHZ; and
  • Changes the definition of median income applicable to IHZ’s to conform to 8-30g’s definition (the lesser of state median income and the area median income as determined by HUD).

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