Stratford Legislators Lead Veto Override on Affordable Housing Reform Measure

July 25, 2017

HARTFORD – Stratford’s legislative delegation, including Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-21), Rep. Laura Hoydick (R-120), Rep. Ben McGorty (R-122), and Rep. Joe Gresko (D-121) voted in favor of overriding the veto of Governor Dannel P. Malloy of affordable housing reform legislation aimed at easing the ability of Stratford and other similar communities statewide to achieve a moratorium on certain affordable housing requirements under the state’s 8-30g statutory requirements.

The legislation, HB 6880,  passed both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly during the regular 2017 session, but was vetoed by Malloy earlier this month. In both chambers the override squeaked by with the minimum votes possible; 101-47 votes in the House and 24-12 in the Senate.

“I am thrilled that we were able to override the governor’s veto to put forward a smart piece of legislation that works to improve imperfect affordable housing laws which have been in place for more than 30 years, these laws have had a negative impact on many of our middle-class communities – I am glad that we are able to offer these families some reprieve,” said Sen. Kelly. “At the end of the day I think it is important for local municipalities to have control over the developments that have a direct impact on our communities. I applaud the work of my fellow lawmakers in seeing the importance of this bill that will ultimately benefit the hard-working families in our local towns.”

“This bill represents lengthy bipartisan work between legislators from both urban and suburban districts,” said Rep. Hoydick.  “Stratford is in an urban ring in its proximity to Bridgeport, and in Stratford we have had predatory developers take advantage of the current affordable housing laws.  I am pleased we were successful today in joining together in a bipartisan effort to override Governor Malloy’s veto, and remove a significant obstacle to Stratford’s ability to determine its own future when it comes to housing development.”

“Our local communities like Stratford deserve the right to make critical land use decisions for themselves,” said Rep. McGorty.  “Stratford has made notable strides and good-faith efforts to meet the requirements of the state’s affordable housing laws, and will continue to do so.  But this measure will help such communities avoid predatory developers who seek to circumvent local land use boards. I am proud of the bipartisan manner in which we arrived at and negotiated this bill, and am please we were able to override the governor’s veto today.”

“Stratford has been working incredibly hard to follow the rules and do the right thing, but it has always been a stacked deck,” Rep. Gresko said. “These reforms are designed to ensure affordable housing remains a priority and towns are protected.”

Currently, each municipality is required to have 10% of its housing stock designated as “affordable” and current law allows developers to submit projects under the statute. If a municipality does not meet the requirements of the statute, the burden is on the municipality during the appeals process to prove the denial was for a health or safety concern.

Under the measure passed today it will be easier for a municipality like Stratford to gain an exemption, and to combat predatory developers aiming to exploit provisions of the affordable housing statutes that allow them to circumvent local planning and zoning authorities, while promoting the proper creation of affordable housing.