State Senator Kevin Kelly Testifies In Support of Amending Affordable House Statutes

February 10, 2011

Hartford – On Tuesday, State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) testified before the General Assembly’s Housing Committee in support of Senate Bills 300, 301, 304, 306, 466 and 468, all of which pertain to affordable housing statutes in Connecticut.

“Affordable housing is an absolute necessity in our communities, but our current laws regarding this issue are failing,” said Senator Kelly. “State statutes must be amended to ensure that all Connecticut citizens have a safe place to live, work and raise a family. Since current law grants greater authority to judges and developers, rather than municipalities, limited progress has been made in establishing 10% of affordable housing in each of our towns.” 

Senator Kelly proposed a package of bills to allow local governments the ability to make decisions regarding how to provide smart, safe and affordable housing in their communities. (Senate Bill 300, An Act Repealing The Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Process, Senate Bill 301, An Act Concerning Tax Abatements for Certain Affordable Housing Units, Senate Bill 304, An Act Concerning the Use of HUD Criteria in Affordable Housing, Senate Bill 306, An Act Concerning Certificates of Affordable Housing Completion, Senate Bill 307, An Act Concerning Certain Requirements for Affordable Housing, Senate Bill 466, An Act Concerning Tax Abatements for Affordable Housing Units, and Senate Bill 468, An Act Amending the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Process)

“As Stratford’s Town Attorney, I watched the town fall victim to unfunded mandates that can hinder a municipality’s right to preserve open space and encourage smart growth that protects citizens by promoting safe housing, or efficient siting of affordable housing,” stated Senator Kelly.

Senate Bill 300 would repeal the affordable housing land use appeals process.  If a full repeal is not possible, Senator Kelly would support Senate Bill 468, which would place a five year moratorium on the enforcement of section 8-30g of the General Statutes.  The five year moratorium would empower municipalities with control over the development and location of affordable housing in their community to establish the safest approach to achieve the state required 10% affordable housing stock in each municipality.

Other bills in the package work to support municipalities in their goal of attaining 10% affordable housing by bringing currently ignored properties into the state’s definition of “affordable” and utilizing existing properties for redevelopment.

Senate Bill 301 and Senate Bill 466 establish tax abatements for existing properties which become deed restricted as affordable for inclusion in the calculation of the 10% affordable housing requirement. 

Senate Bill 304 would amend the state’s definition of “affordable” to include the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development definition and requirements of affordable housing in Connecticut. 

Senate Bill 306 would allow municipalities to include “in-law apartments” when calculating affordable housing units. 

Senator Kelly noted that, “In-law apartments can serve as an essential resource for enabling seniors to age in place. Seniors can live with family and friends without depleting their limited resources and fixed incomes on increasing healthcare costs.”