(PHOTO) Senator Fazio Expresses Deep Disappointment at “Fair Share” Legislation Taking Away Local Control

June 7, 2023

June 7, 2023

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Senator Fazio Expresses Deep Disappointment at “Fair Share” Legislation Taking Away Local Control

Says “First Step to Fair Share” housing bill mocks legislative process
and could become “the most significant unfunded mandate in CT history.”


HARTFORD, CT- Today, Senator Ryan Fazio (R-Greenwich) expressed deep disappointment in the Senate passage of S.B. 998, an omnibus housing bill passed along party lines. The bill was amended by the House during a late-night session adding the language from H.B.6890, otherwise known as “Fair Share,” to the new bill. The proposal constitutes the first step of the Fair Share Act, which would eventually create a historic state takeover of local control and housing policy.

Senator Fazio spoke in the Senate Chamber for hours to highlight serious concerns about a controversial zoning reform policy which he said has the potential to eliminate local control and create one of the largest unfunded mandates in Connecticut’s history.

“This is a shot across the bow against our centuries-old tradition of local control,” Senator Fazio said while leading over nine hours of Senate debate. “This is the camel’s nose under the tent which could result in the most significant unfunded mandate in Connecticut’s history. It is the product of bad legislative process, it doubles down on the 30-year record of failure of our 8-30g affordable housing law, and it effectively turbo-charges the 8-30g law by making it more difficult for towns to reach affordable housing requirements.”

“This newly amended bill contains new policies which never had the benefit of a full public hearing, and it represents a mish-mosh of different bills which contradict each other,” Sen. Fazio continued. “That’s not how to create good public policy in Connecticut. This new bill has not been vetted. This all should have been worked out in a sensible committee process. That’s precisely why there is extensive bipartisan opposition to it.”

Senator Fazio, who serves as Ranking Senator on the legislature’s Planning and Development Committee, detailed the bill’s many flaws, noting that an unrelated bill was used as a vehicle for an amendment adopted at midnight on Saturday by the House of Representatives.

In addition, Sen. Fazio said that under his reading of the bill:

  • The definition of what constitutes “affordable housing” would narrow while the mandate for local affordable housing would double. “How can you expect municipalities to be incentivized to do this?” Sen. Fazio asked.  “It makes no sense.”
  • It imposes new costs on real estate owners and landlords, which will result in a “major disincentive to building and maintaining housing.”
  • It builds on the sweeping, failed 8-30g housing mandate passed more than 30 years ago, which undercut local regulations under the pretext of more affordability but has not lowered Connecticut’s poverty rate, created demand, or increased real estate values

“The problem in Connecticut is lack of economic and job growth,” Sen. Fazio said. “We need smart, affordable housing policies, and I have introduced multiple bipartisan bills to advance those goals.  We can create greater opportunity while respecting local control.  Our current 8-30 g system has failed to achieve its goal of creating opportunity. Now, we are doubling down on 8-30g’s broken promise with a far more sweeping promise.”

Sen. Fazio cited the example of New Canaan, which he said has tried to “put its best foot forward” by building hundreds of affordable housing units, yet has been denied the moratorium it earned.

The Senator noted that while Stamford meets the 8-30 g requirement, it would not likely meet “Fair Share” requirements. “Stamford would be burdened by a new mandate under the Fair Share system,” Sen. Fazio said. “The city would be penalized for their good work. These new mandates will demoralize communities across our state.”

Unfortunately, the amendments did not have enough support for adoption, and the bill now moves to Governor Lamont’s desk, where it awaits signature. Sen. Fazio vowed to continue defending local decision-making while pressing for bipartisan, collaborative affordable housing solutions in the future.



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