This Year's Amendments To State Affordable Housing Law

Every year since 1990, when the Connecticut General Assembly first enacted the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Act, General Statutes § 8-30g, legislators have filed bills to repeal it, gut it, or substantially amend it. While changes have been made – longer affordability periods, more units set aside for lower income households, procedures to give towns more control of the § 8-30g process, and a four-year moratorium from applications in towns where a substantial number of affordable units are built – in 27 years, the act’s core provision has remained intact: In towns where less than 10 percent of the housing stock is financed by a government program or preserved as affordable by a deed restriction (currently 138 of 169 towns), when a permit applicant appeals a municipal planning and zoning commission’s denial to court, the burden of proof is on the commission to prove the denial was based on a substantial public health and safety concern that “clearly outweighs” the town’s need for more lower cost housing.